Intrepid localist

Rebecca Melançon

Locally owned businesses run by people who care about our communities are the foundation of a healthy local economy, not by creating commerce over people but by creating commerce with people. Our future depends on creating thriving local communities with a healthy local business ecosystem. As an intrepid localist for more than 30 years, I am devoted to this pursuit.

Bill Bunch

“Rebecca has led the Austin Independent Business Alliance since it’s infancy, building a movement and brand to buy local, to put your dollars where year heart, your family, your friends and your community will benefit the most. She is a fearless and tireless advocate for local culture, community and collaboration.  We need her now more than ever, strengthening the ties that bind business, community and culture.  We would have lost Austin without Rebecca’s 20 year labor of love at AIBA.”

—Bill Bunch, Director
SOS Alliance

Silas Parker

“Rebecca has been the cornerstone of the Austin Independent Business Alliance since its inception. While she is too humble to admit it, and would probably tell you the members make the organization succeed, she has been the unrelenting catalyst who made the AIBA a success. From fostering new members, curating learning opportunities & workshops, hosting networking events & webinars, and leading the charge from city hall to Washington D.C. to ensure the voices of local business owners were heard; Rebecca has done it all with class & a humble swagger that I truly admire and hope to one day emulate.”

—Silas C. Parker, LUTCF
Financial Adviser*/ Principal

Eric Groves

“I’ve known Rebecca for over 10 years and she is one of the foremost experts in the country when it comes to local business advocacy and working with governments to create programs designed to support the local economy. Her work at Austin Independent Business Alliance over 20 years helped create the vibrant local business community that Kept Austin “Weird” and awesome.”

—Eric Groves, Founder & CEO

Barb Rush

“Your passion, creative ideas & public education helped create a strong collective voice for Austin local businesses. You are a true Austin jewel. Thank you Rebecca! You are loved & appreciated.”

—Barbara Rush
Political Activist

Kendall Antonelli

“Rebecca is a champion for local businesses and entrepreneurs. She is a tireless and passionate advocate and a woman you just want to have in her corner – whether to offer a warm hug and smile or just get the job done.”

—Kendall Antonelli, President, Co-Owner/Founder
Antonelli’s Cheese Shop

Denise Reid

“Thank You so much for being an inspiration to all of us for your dedication and advocacy for Austin businesses. Your professional knowledge, tenacity, and practical approaches to working with “those in charge” benefitted so many businesses and owners.”

—Denise Reid, President
Mercury Permits, Inc!

Clint Strait

“Rebecca’s passion for local business is unparalleled. She recognizes the integral part that independent businesses play in the fabric of a community and she fights for their right to prosper day in and day out. Whether it is facilitating networking events to join local leaders together, advocating for their best interest at city hall or keeping them informed of hot topics of the day that concern their bottom lines, Rebecca is a true champion, advocate and friend of independent businesses.”

—Clint Strait, Owner
Strait Music

James Rodriguez

“I have always been impressed by Rebecca’s innovation and creativity. She has grown AIBA from a rather small organization into a large organization that has garnered national attention while all the time keeping her hand on the pulse of the small businesses in the City of Austin. I have witnessed her willingness to not only support small business but her fierce opposition to any governmental policies that would do harm or not be in favor of small businesses. And I respect her for that. Bottom line for me is that Rebecca is a great leader and one who is focused on deliverables and the wellbeing of her constituents.”

— James I. Rodriguez, President & CEO
TexHealth Central Texas


The Intrepid Localist

My work is focused on giving perspective to local economies but on the national level. I write about current and local business issues and governmental policies in the Intrepid Localist Blog.

This ship has a new course

This ship has a new course

I’ve spent most of my adult life either being a local business or working to support local business. I hear the whispers. You’re a person, not a business. You can own a business, work for a business but you can’t be a business any more than a corporation can be a...

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Institutional racism: Making space for others

Institutional racism: Making space for others

Like many, I’ve been taking a close look at race both introspectively and as institutional racism. It’s been illuminating. I believe that, in this time, given the upheaval that triggered prolonged protests, no one should be exempt from self-examination. I implore all...

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Taking back capitalism

Taking back capitalism

The pandemic has brought out the best and the worst of us. Or as my father used to say about Louisiana politics, both cream and scum rise to the top. I hope, in the long run, that this is good. We currently exist in an infrastructure of greed. But we can change that....

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I also write a blog about observations on life and being human. Lagniappe, which means an extra gift, is from my native New Orleans roots.

Life in Pandemia

Life in Pandemia

Human beings are social creatures, pack animals we are. From high society to gangs, we travel in packs. While there are lone wolves, we are not normally isolated. Until now. The pandemic has wrought so much damage and destruction to our health, our communities and our...

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Open your multi-colored eyes

Open your multi-colored eyes

Think you’re a bigoted, close-minded, self-righteous jerk?  Me neither. In fact, I would say I’m an enlightened, open-minded, self-righteous liberal. But I’ve had a lesson lately that I hope will open your eyes too. Many have been awakened by recent events to...

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Am I a racist?

Am I a racist?

I think not. If you ask anyone who knows me, the answer would be certainly not. But these times call for much more than a popular answer. They call for serious introspection, followed by serious action. Have a discussion! Start a group for a 21 Day Racism Challenge!...

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