When I was helping to form the Austin Independent Business Alliance back in 2002, the economic benefits of locally-owned businesses to local economies were suspected but unproven. In the years since, and with pioneering and nationally recognized leadership from AIBA, the absolute correlation between local businesses and their positive impacts has been proven. In March 2010, the Mayor of Austin convened the first Small Local Business Summit with our organization, to explore the issues of local business in our city.. Since then, my colleagues and I have worked diligently with a round-table of local business owners to answer the next vital question—How can a city stimulate local business ownership?
The Local Business Manifesto attempts to answer that question. After much effort, on Wednesday, April 4, 2012, AIBA held the Local Business Manifesto press conference at BookPeople. The press conference was followed by the passing of a City Council Resolution in support the Manifesto and directing city staff to begin work on several items outlined in the Manifesto. The resolution was sponsored by council members Bill Spelman, Laura Morrison and Sheryl Cole.
But the work has just begun. I will continue to work to implement these guiding principles, not just for my city but for every city that wants to support and nurture a thriving local business community.
- Read the original Local Business Manifesto
- Read the City Council Resolution in support of the Manifesto
- Read Rebecca’s speech from the press conference