Similarly experiencing food and fuel price increases, and other economic strains, North American neighbors, Canada and America, are promoting two national campaigns to spur the many local economies taking a hit. With the help of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), on Nov. 19, communities and consumers will be urged to “unchain” for a day, maximizing the impact of their dollars and injecting potentially millions more into the local economy by shopping, dining out and visiting only locally-owned independent businesses. The America and Canada UNCHAINED! campaigns mirror many other movements launched throughout the year and during this holiday season, all with the intention to bring back Main Street, mom and pops and those brick and mortars that can help in fueling local economies.
Local and Small Business Campaigns to Be Aware of
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), has developed a program called the New Rules Project to help bring fresh new policy solutions to communities and states, ensuring that they are designing rules as if community matters. The ILSR also promotes that retailers looking to be advocates themselves in the independents movement should participate in buy local campaigns, proactive opportunities to combat legislation, and rebuilding local economies.
The focus of Independent Retailer Month (July 2011) is on all independent retailers, regardless of what products they sell. Among the benefits of participation, local retailers received the opportunity to have their products featured on Independent Retailer Month’s website homepage, and were a part of a widespread media campaign. The initiative is inclusive of everyone that has some form of recognition for independent retailing, in the hope that Independent Retailer Month will become the umbrella for all, in the USA as well as globally.
Two new campaigns also joining the bandwagon this holiday season are “Shift Your Shopping” and “Small Business Saturday.” Small Business Saturday returns for its second consecutive year, on Nov. 26. American Express is looking to make this annual event a success, providing retailers with tools that will help generate ideas on creating in-store offers and build an online presence to rally customers. A limited number of American Express cardholders will once again receive a $25 statement credit if they register their cards and use them at participating small businesses on Nov. 26. The Shift Your Shopping campaign, launched this November 1 and is a coalition of over 38,000 locally owned, independent retailers across the United States and Canada dedicated to encouraging the purchase of holiday gifts from independent businesses, flea markets, and mom and pop stores.
Joining AMIBA in the Movement
As AMIBA says, “Sometimes seemingly small acts have an impact bigger than you ever imagined. Take family spending. You may think you’re just fulfilling your family’s wants or needs when you shop or dine out.” But the choice of where the money is spent makes a big difference in anyone’s community. Participants of the event are not required to be affiliated with AMIBA, but should use the following steps to participate:
1) Download the campaign materials
2) Inform AMIBA that you are participating
3) Join AMIBA’s IBAs, kindred organizations, individual community-based businesses, independent trade associations, and motivated citizens everywhere in unchaining their communities and themselves.
AMIBA will provide participants with all the campaign information and materials (logos, templates for promotional items, press release, and more) needed.