Metro Independent Business Alliance (MetroIBA), also known as Buy Local Twin Cities, has led small business owners and community members in metropolitan Minnesota for 10 years. In that time, MetroIBA has shaped public policy, raised awareness for businesses in the Twin Cities and garnered attention from key local leaders.
MetroIBA’s success over the last decade rang loud and clear at the group’s 10th Anniversary Gala in March. A celebration of past, present and future, the gala opened with messages from some of the Twin Cities’ VIPs, including St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Senator Al Franken, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Congresswoman Betty McCullom. The event also honored MetroIBA’s 10 original board members and the work that the growing group has done ever since its inception.
In 2015, as in past years, much of that work has revolved around public policy. Recently, MetroIBA has worked to lobby the Minnesota legislature to pass the Toxic Free Kids Act (TFKA). The law would require children’s product manufacturers to notify the state if they use any of eight chemicals that have been identified as harmful to children. MetroIBA supports the bill for its potential to help small business owners more easily identify responsible manufacturers.
To move the bill forward, MetroIBA met with state legislators, worked with like-minded organizations and even authored an opinion piece for a local newspaper. In 2014, TFKA died in the Minnesota Senate. This year, thanks to MetroIBA’s efforts, TFKA has passed the Senate and awaits a vote in the Minnesota House.
While working on game-changing projects like TFKA in the present, MetroIBA also prepares for the next 10 years of work. In 2016, the group will unveil its first-ever Buy Local Guide to help members and the community make the most of the buy local movement. MetroIBA, along with Minnesota Business Magazine, will also introduce the Independent Business Awards in spring 2016. The awards will give business owners and consumers the chance to appreciate and honor the work that small businesses do in the community.
For 10 years, MetroIBA has supported Minnesota small businesses with promotional resources, networking opportunities and public policy initiatives. With recognition from community leaders and new projects on the horizon, this buy local group also sets the Twin Cities up for success in the next 10 years. For more information about MetroIBA, visit www.buylocaltwincities.com.
Independent We Stand is dedicated to helping independent businesses across the country engage their communities and encouraging customers to buy local. If you’re a business owner, get buy local resources, tips and news by registering at www.independentwestand.org/membership/. Your business will also be included in our ‘locals only’ search engine and mobile app. If you’re a consumer, take the pledge to buy local and find local businesses in your community at www.independentwestand.org/take-a-stand/join-the-movement/.