Indie Trade Associations Form New Coalition

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The American Booksellers Association has joined with six other organizations to launch Advocates for Independent Business (AIB), a coalition of trade associations and other groups dedicated to ensuring that locally owned, independent businesses succeed and thrive. 

ABA co-founded the coalition together with the 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.

The coalition will be reaching out to other trade associations in the coming weeks. Membership is open to organizations that primarily represent independent, locally owned businesses. 

AIB will provide 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.

“We look forward to working with our partners in AIB on a range of issues that are critical to the health and continued growth of locally owned businesses nationwide,” said ABA CEO Oren Teicher. “And we hope even more indie trade organizations will join us in the future. There is much that can be accomplished in terms of public policy if we all work together, as well as many things we can learn from each other to better serve our members.”

 “This is an exciting moment,” said Stacy Mitchell, program director at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance which is coordinating AIB’s work. “Building a national coalition will give independent businesses a stronger voice on critical public policy issues. It will also provide a great way for these organizations to share ideas and develop new strategies and programs to help their members thrive.”

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 more than 50 people from over 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.

For more information, visit the new AIB website.