Institute for Local Self Reliance Survey Results

Joe Grafton, AMIBA’s Northeast Director of Development and Community Engagement stated, “As groups like BIBA continue to flourish around New England, we expect to see continued growth of local businesses, leading to more jobs and more economic resiliency across our region.”

A new nationwide survey of independent business owners yielded powerful evidence that pro-local attitudes are growing, driving customer traffic and indicates the educational work of BIBA and more than one hundred similarly-organized groups are yielding large benefits for their members.

The seventh annual survey by the Institute for Local Self Reliance tallied responses from 2602 businesses, all independent and locally-owned, across all 50 states. About half were retailers. Among the notable results:

  • Ø  Independent businesses reported revenue growth of 5.3% on average in 2013.  The retailers surveyed experienced a 1.4% increase in same-store holiday sales, comparable to many competing chains.
  • Ø  Independent businesses in communities with an active “buy independent/buy local” campaign run by grassroots groups like BIBA saw revenues grow 7.0% in 2013, tripling the 2.3% increase for those in areas without an alliance.
  • Ø  More than 75% of businesses located in cities with active Independent Business Alliances / Local First organizations reported increased customer traffic or other benefits from these initiatives.
  • Ø  “Businesses that participate more [in their community’s IBA/Local First campaign] report a bigger impact from the campaign than those who are less engaged.” (p 7)

 The survey also assessed major concerns of independent business owners, indicating:

  • Ø  Competition from large online companies poses the greatest challenge for retailers. More than three-quarters of independent retailers said their sales were hurt by internet competitors not being required to collect sales tax.
  • Ø  Top policy priorities among respondents are closing the loophole that allows giant online retailers to avoid collecting sales tax to large online retailers, eliminating public subsidies and tax loopholes for large corporations and limiting credit card processor swipe fees.
  • Ø  For businesses which applied for bank loans within the past two years, 42% either were denied or received less money than requested.

 “Independent businesses are making huge strides when it comes to communicating their value and building community support…” said Stacy Mitchell, senior researcher at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

 “It’s great to see such thorough data supporting what we hear from local Alliances — that their work continues to shift local consciousness and is driving more business to local independents,” said Jeff Milchen, co-director of the American Independent Business Alliance, which partnered in the survey. BIBA is a member AMIBA, a national network of more than 85 community alliances supporting local entrepreneurs.

 The full report (15 pp pdf) may be downloaded from

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BIBA and Bank of New Hampshire announce Buy Local Advantage Card

                 For Immediate Release:


BIBA and Bank of New Hampshire announce Buy Local Advantage Card



Laconia, New Hampshire – November 20, 2013 – Belknap Independent Business Alliance (BIBA) announced today their Buy Local Advantage Card.  This loyalty card provides consumers various discounts, promotions and special offers from a wide variety of locally owned businesses in the Lakes Region.  Simply present your card to any of the participating businesses listed on BIBA’s website,, and receive the current offer.  This is a great way to support your local businesses, especially during the upcoming holiday season.

BIBA is also announcing the Shift Your Shopping Campaign.  As customers, we collectively spend a large portion of our annual shopping budget between November 1st and December 31st.  Based on studies of similar efforts, we’ve likely generated 2-3 times as much economic activity in our community than if we had spent our money at a national chain.  Across North America, that could mean billions of dollars of economic impact.  Join us to build an annual tradition that strengthens local economies, expands employment, nurtures a sense of community, and provides a more relaxed, fun, and rewarding gift-buying experience!

BIBA wishes to thank Bank of New Hampshire for this opportunity to the Lakes Region.  Thanks to their generous donation, we are able to kick of this campaign and provide consumers with the Buy Local Advantage Card.  Craig McKeon, Bank of New Hampshire’s Graphic Design & Media Specialist designed the card.  “Bank of New Hampshire is dedicated to the communities where we work and live,” stated Vickie Routhier, SVP – Director of Marketing & Public Relations for Bank of New Hampshire. “Supporting organizations such as BIBA is what makes us more than a bank.  We truly love New Hampshire.”

The cards are free and are currently available at All My Life Jewelers, The Studio, The Insurance Outlet, various Bank of New Hampshire offices, as well as Real Estate offices throughout the Lakes Region.   Additional locations will be updated on the website and Facebook.  Be sure to visit BIBA’s website to find out what the current offers are from the merchants participating.  If you are a small business owner and would like to participate or learn more about BIBA, please contact Kate at

BIBA, is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization supports locally owned, independent businesses in the NH Lakes Region through marketing, promotion, programs, education and events … driving customers to think local first!  BIBA is an affiliate of the American Independent Business Alliance, a non-profit organization helping communities sustain their local independent businesses and keep opportunities alive for local entrepreneurs. Across the country, independent business leaders in cities and towns like ours are creating alliances to promote the many benefits of supporting local businesses.

Bank of New Hampshire, founded in 1831, provides deposit, lending and wealth management products and services to families and businesses throughout New Hampshire. With 21 banking offices throughout New Hampshire and assets exceeding $1 billion, Bank of New Hampshire is the oldest and largest independent bank in the state. Bank of New Hampshire is a mutual organization, focused on the success of the bank’s customers, communities and employees, rather than stockholders.  For more information, call 1-800-832-0912 or visit


Photo Caption (L-R): Vickie Routhier, SVP – Director of Marketing & Public Relations for Bank of New Hampshire; Kate Bishop Hamel, Executive Director for BIBA; Craig McKeon, Graphic Design & Media Specialist for Bank of New Hampshire.


1-800-832-0912 ·

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Welcome to the new BIBA Website!

Thank you for supporting the “Buy Local” movement!  We’re glad you are here.

Here are just some of the ways, we are here for you …

A current member:

* Marketing resources/tools and support (i.e., BIBA decal, Buy Local Advantage Card, posters, social media presence)

* Advocacy

* Education

* Networking

* Benefits of being part of a national organization, AMIBA

* Answer your questions

A consumer/merchant/interested community member:

* Education

* Special Offers/Promotions (i.e. Buy Local Advantage Card)

* Events

A future member, local business owner, supporter, partner:

* All of the above!







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BIBA Annual Meeting

BIBA’s (Belknap Independent Business Alliance) Annual Meeting was held at the Beane Conference Center on May 29th with Joe Grafton from AMIBA (American Independent Business Alliance) as our guest speaker. We are excited to be launching our BIBA Buy Local Advantage Card in the next few months and wish to express our gratitude to Bank of New Hampshire for their design and direction for the card and also to Piche’s Ski & Sport Shop Print Shop for the production of the card. Be sure to be on the lookout for the launch and how to get your card!

The event would have not been possible without the underwriting support of American Express Open, AMIBA and those who came to hear about BIBA and the Local movement. A special thanks to Kevin Halligan for providing us with some tasty treats from Local Eatery, Craig Beane for the meeting space and logistics and Chris & Janelle McCarthy for working the registration table and bar. We would like thank of all those who attended!

We have an exciting year ahead and we look forward to sharing it with you and our Lakes Region community!

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