Study after study concludes on a dollar-for-dollar basis, the local economic impact of independently owned businesses is significantly greater than that of national chains. In short, one small purchase at a local, independent business can make an impact on that business – and the local economy. That’s the message Omaha Local Independent Business Alliance’s (OL!BA) Shop Local Omaha has worked to spread around the city for the last seven years.
The Shop Local Omaha initiative, which works to promote local, independent businesses, is looking to enlarge its membership and have an even stronger voice in the community. Their reach will go even farther thanks to the partnership with two community partners. Since its inception OL!BA has held monthly membership meetings, but a couple weeks from now, it will be hosting its most anticipated event ever.
Current members and local-owned independent businesses are invited to attend the Monday, March 10, meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. at Julio’s West, 2820 S. 123rd Court. At the event, see OLIBA’s Shop Local Omaha brand-new look for 2014, produced by UNO’s very own maverickpr; as well as get introduced to the new Big O Biz.com radio marketing program available from On the Spot Productions.
“I’m very pleased to join OLIBA and Shop Local Omaha on March 10th,” says Patrick Stibbs, president of On the Spot Productions and on-air personality for The Big O 101.9, “I’ve been working with local businesses for almost 30 years, and I realize it’s getting tough and tougher for them to advertise. We’re excited to announce this marketing plan to make their ad dollars stretch to become more cost effective and successful – and the chance to network with other businesses!”
Also learn about the www.shoplocalomaha website, The Reader advertising campaigns and catch up on other 2014 promotions. Free snacks, drinks and drawings for free radio spots will be handed out. No R.S.V.P. required.
OL!BA’s Shop Local Omaha is made up of a core group of business owners and developed a four-fold mission:
• To educate the public about the importance of buying local,
• To promote the success of local, independent businesses,
• To encourage a “hometown” quality of life through diversity,
• And to advocate for local, independent businesses in media and government.
Ellen Scott, a founding board member and manager of the children’s department at The Bookworm, believes the organization has made progress in accomplishing its objectives during the last several years.
“I think there’s a lot more awareness of local independent businesses now,” she said.
OL!BA is an affiliate of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), which offers guidance and resources to independent business organizations.
Local business owners said they felt compelled to join OL!BA’s Shop Local Omaha primarily because of its mission to educate the public about the benefits of supporting local businesses.
The group meets once a month, publishes a monthly e-newsletter and maintains a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. It also regularly updates its http://www.shoplocalomaha.com website.
Any locally owned, independent business is welcome to join OL!BA for $75 per year. Dues go toward promotions and administrative fees. If you can’t attend the March 10th meeting, visit www.shoplocalomaha.com for details.
Editor’s note: For interviews contact founding OL!BA Board Members:
-Ellen Scott, manager of the children’s department at The Bookworm, firstname.lastname@example.org or 4o2.392.2877.
-Rick Fox, owner of Julio’s West, email@example.com or (402) 330-2110.
Key Studies on Big-Box Retail & Independent Business: http://www.ilsr.org/key-studies-walmart-and-bigbox-retail/#1
~By Becky Bohan Brown, Shop Local Omaha | OL!BA communications coordinator and founder/blogger of population-we, LLC.