American Independent Business Alliance

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AMIBA logo

The American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) is a non-profit organization that represents the interests of local independent businesses, helps communities develop strong local economies through nurturing local entrepreneurs, and promotes citizen engagement in local economic development. AMIBA helps communities to: launch and successfully operate "buy local" campaigns; facilitate group purchasing and marketing among local businesses, and; other programs to support community enterprise.

Many of these communities form Independent Business Alliances to strengthen and sustain community-based businesses while strengthening local economies and preventing chains and other remotely controlled businesses from driving out locals.

Local independent businesses[edit]

AMIBA defines a local independent business as:

  • Private, employee, community, or cooperative ownership
  • At least 50% owned by area residents
  • Full decision-making authority for the business lies with its local owner(s)
  • A limited number and geographic range of business locations (determined by local affiliates based on their circumstances)

Independent Business Alliance[edit]

The term Independent Business Alliance refers to local affiliates of the AMIBA. According to AMIBA's website, "An IBA is a coalition of locally-owned independent businesses, citizens and community organizations united to support home town businesses in a community or geographic region...The AMIBA aims to help seed, support and network these alliances."

The first Independent Business Alliance (IBA) originated in Boulder, Colorado in 1998 and developed the model that has been advanced by more than 85 local IBAs affiliated with the AMIBA in the United States and Canada. Their organizing model also has been emulated by dozens of other groups. Independent Business Alliances exist in communities ranging from 1,800 to several million residents, covering 36 states. Collectively, these IBAs represent about 24,000 independent businesses.

The name Independent Business Alliance is a trademark of the AMIBA that applies specifically and exclusively to its affiliates (no other organization can include "Independent Business Alliance" in its name), though affiliates are not obliged to use the name.


The organization was incorporated in 2001 by Jeff Milchen and Jennifer Rockne, who previously led the Boulder Independent Business Alliance (in Colorado), the first such alliance in the U.S. The AMIBA is a 501c(3) educational organization based in Bozeman, Montana.

AMIBA often supports positions that contrast with other national business organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that advance policies favoring large or global corporations. For example, AMIBA argues for keeping corporations out of electioneering activities.[1]

Board of directors[edit]

The organization is directed by a six-member board of leaders or initiators of local Independent Business Alliances.[2]

  • Dana Eness, Director, Stay Local! New Orleans
  • Amy Huerta, Local Business Initiatives Manager, City of Fresno, Fresno Regional IBA
  • Erin Kilmer Neel, OnePacificCoast Foundation, Director, Oakland Unwrapped
  • Jennifer Rubenstein, Director, Louisville IBA
  • Lily Brislen, founder, Think Local Umpqua
  • Nicole Kelly, Keep Saint Petersburg Local


  1. ^ "Granting Corporations Bill of Rights Protections Is Not "Pro-business"". AMIBA. January 11, 2012. Archived from the original on February 9, 2014. Retrieved August 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ "People of AMIBA". AMIBA. Retrieved August 2, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Early coverage by [Inc Magazine] noting organizations roots.

"To Tout Good Jobs, Visit Main Street, Not Amazon" {Business Week} commentary.