Independent We Stand has joined the Advocates for Independent Business (AIB), a new coalition of trade associations and other groups dedicated to ensuring that locally owned, independent businesses succeed and thrive.
The other members of the coalition are the American Booksellers Association, American Independent Business Alliance, American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, Independent Running Retailers Association, National Bicycle Dealers Association, Professional Association of Innkeepers International, and Record Store Day.
AIB provides a structure for its member organizations to exchange information about successful programs that deliver value for their members, generate new ideas to support independent businesses, and work together to advocate for shared public policy goals.
"Building a national coalition will give independent businesses a stronger voice on critical public policy issues," said Stacy Mitchell, program director at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance which is coordinating the AIB's work. "It will also provide a great way for these organizations to share ideas and develop new strategies and programs to help their members thrive."
"It is an honor to join this group of influential like-minded organizations," says Bill Brunelle, Executive Director of Independent We Stand. "We look forward to collaborating with and contributing to AIB to accomplish the shared goal of supporting independent businesses."
AIB has its roots in the Advocates for Independent Retail Summit organized by the American Booksellers Association two years ago. The day-long meeting drew over 50 people from more than 30 trade associations representing a broad range of independent businesses.
Recognizing the significant opportunity represented by that gathering and the value of having an ongoing vehicle for sharing ideas and collaborating to support independent businesses, the founding members of AIB began meeting earlier this year to create the coalition. They anticipate that it will grow in the coming months as other independent business organizations join.