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You Are One of Us – Are you Indie Bound?


The “Buy Local” movement may be picking up some steam. Whether an anti-homogenization movement, to better sustain local economies, or organized for self-protection of locally owned business it is a good idea in my opinion to get involved. Local, community based marketing fuels positive word of mouth.

We must be careful that our fellow indies deserve the consumers business. With local efforts local politics will come into play, and owners will have a tough time with the sometimes necessary tough talk they need to give their peers. Getting in bed with others who have bad business habits will dilute the positive efforts of deserving companies. A buy-local program should not be the scapegoat of undeserving retailers who don’t earn the business on their own. Consumer tolerance of  irregular retail hours, fingerprinted store windows, dirty restrooms, rude clerks, and dusty merchandise will not increase just because she wants to support local commerce. The improved word of mouth can just as easily, (and may likely) become bad as it can be good. Start with your own store.

I added links to two buy-local type business organizations in the Business Tools sections of links in the right column.

Click here to check out AMIBA – American Independent Business Association

Click here to check out BALLE Business Alliance for Local Living Economics

Check them out and see if either is active in your community. AMIBA offers to connect you with others they have heard from in your area. Comment on this posting if there are other organized efforts you are aware of.

There are other local organizations (what a concept) without affiliation on a national scale who also do a good job. Some of those have adopted the “Keep (city name) Weird” theme Wikipedia attributes to Keep Austin Weird

The meaning of weird can be taken in several directions. Beware the Keep Boulder Weird website.

The American Booksellers Association has broadened their efforts and have included other independents among their members in the store finder feature on their website.  They are organizing an online community of buy-local minded citizens and businesspeople and allow individuals and store owners to list at no charge.

Click here or on the red “YOU ARE ONE OF US.” box above to visit their website and check it out.

To do this right we must also “Shop Indie” in our own communities. Admittedly it is harder than you would think. I tried my best during the holiday season. The first thing that gets in the way is the mindset of anyone you are shopping with. (I tried to convince my wife we didn’t “need” anything from the mall.) You will be inconvenienced to shop local. And then there is availability of what you need. My wife hinted at a particular book she wanted for Christmas. Our local independent bookstore didn’t have the title and couldn’t get it before Christmas because it was on backorder at their distributor. Meanwhile the local Kroger store stocked a feature display of the book. Believe me it takes discipline to wait for what you want and not cave in to the chain. If we believe in ourselves we must at least try – even if it costs a little inconvenience, and an extra buck or two.

4 Responses

  1. Dear Sid,

    Just a comment on the blog post. When it came accross it was unclear as to what to do to read the whole post. I had to click on the link imbedded in the following line. You are subscribed to email updates from Strategies Blog from Horticultural Advantage

    It was unclear as to how to post a comment. When I went to the link and read the article. The link to post a comment was in the small print after Filed under:

  2. Dear Sid,

    The AMBI and BALLE links appear to be the same. Are they supposed to be different links?

  3. I’ll fix that right away Ed. They were supposed to be different. Thanks, Sid

  4. I’ll check to see what I can do to improve this Ed. Thanks for the feedback. Sid

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