January 11, 2012  
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AIBA Events
We are currently working on an exciting slate of fun events for you. Watch for our 2012 schedule soon.


Austin Independent Business Alliance
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New & Renewing Members

Austin Yoga Institute

Cass Studios

Fluid Landscape & Irrigation

Greengo Creative Media

HT Staffing
Integrated Chiropractic Wellness, PLLC

Juli Fellows, Ph.D.

Little Green Beans, LLC

Spectacle Sunglasses

The Steam Team

Totally Cool City Conservation

Wandering River Recycling

Waterloo Records & Video

Wellness for Workers
AIBA Partners
A special thank you to our partners who support AIBA and local business in Austin.


The Fowler Law Firm

Richards, Rodriguez & Skeith


The Retail Strategy Real Estate Group


Texas Coffee Traders
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Results of Plastic and Paper
Bag Ban Survey

Thank you to all who took our Bag Ban Survey in December. The results are in and point to clear support for both sides of this issue.
56% voted AGAINST the ban
with 44% voting FOR the ban

We asked whether you support charging customers 25 cents per bag for plastic bags during a transition period.
59% voted AGAINST the charge
and 41% voted FOR the charge

When asked whether the ban would hurt your business,
68% said NO and
26% answered YES
6% gave no response

The comments were interesting and shed a little light on the voting. It seems most of the respondents who were for the ban supported it for environmental reasons. No surprise. But a large number of the comments against the ban were votes against government intervention, not necessarily ceasing the use of bags that end up in our landfill. Most of these comments centered around too much government regulation for businesses.

We had 68 responses with a surprising 43 leaving comments. This is the first of a new program of surveys to help AIBA represent you to local government. In this case there was no clear position we should take on this issue. However we have sent the results to the City Council with the hope that some of your comments may help in guiding their decision. In the future we'll continue to conduct quick, 1-3 question surveys on current issues to guide us in advocating for local business.

Your participation is much appreciated. It only takes a couple of minutes and gives us valuable guidance.

Should you wish to follow this issue more closely, the Solid Waste Advisory Commission will be discussing this and other issues tonight at their meeting at City Hall Council Chambers, 6:30pm.
Reach thousands of followers
looking for local businesses

AIBA promotes your business through social media and IBuyAustin.com. Our social media reaches more than 9,000 followers and the AIBA website gets more than 500,000 hits per month. But we can't tell our thousands of followers what you're doing unless you tell us.

It's easy.


1. Events-If you have an event, let us know by filling out
this simple form or go to IBuyAustin.com, select EVENTS and the link is in the first paragraph.

2. Latest From Your Locals-If you have any announcement to share with potential customers such as an award you've won, new products or services you offer or new hours, promote your business by filling out this form or go to IBuyAustin.com, select FIND A LOCAL BUSINESS. Latest from Your Locals is in the right column. At the end of the listings is the link for the form. 

3. Newsletters-AIBA  publishes IndieAustin Newsletter, a customer newsletter every other week (except holidays). All events and announcements are included in this newsletter going to your customers.

4. IBuyAustin.com-All events and announcements are posted on the AIBA website which gets more than 500,000 hits per month. 

5. Increase Your Audience-Add AIBA (rebekka@ibuyaustin.com) to your own e-newsletters so we get all your upcoming info. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Our public name is IBuyAustin. We'll repost and retweet your messages. 

Don't forget to tell your customers and friends that you are an AIBA member on your own social media pages. A simple message such as "We're a locally owned business and a proud member of the Austin Independent Business Alliance. Shopping at a locally owned business yields more than three times the local economic impact than shopping at chain stores."

Go ahead and take advantage of us.
We're here for you!

National Indie Biz Survey
As a member of the American Independent Business Alliance, AIBA is participating in the 5th annual post-holiday survey of independent businesses. As an AIBA member, we encourage you to take this survey, as it provides us with important data and talking points to help advance our mission and better help you.

The survey has two goals:  

1. To gauge how independent businesses are faring in today's economy.

2. To assess whether people are more aware and supportive of locally owned, independent businesses.

The survey contains about a dozen multiple-­choice questions and generally takes less than 5 minutes to complete. The survey is completely confidential. It does not ask for your name or the name of your business. Only aggregate data will be viewed and released. Your individual response is private. The survey closes at midnight on January 17.

The survey is being conducted by the Institute for Local Self-­Reliance, a national nonprofit research and educational organization, in partnership with several business organizations, including the Alliance of Independent Media Stores, the American Booksellers Association, the American Independent Business Alliance, American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, the National Bicycle Dealers Association, TriMega Purchasing Association, and many other trade associations and local business groups.

Thank you for your participation!
Opportunities for AIBA Members

Explore Local Austin
Want free publicity for your local small business? Help your businesses gain more visibility at absolutely no cost to you. Simply go to
www.ExploreLocalAustin.org for quick and easy sign up and list your Austin business on the Small Business Development Program's interactive map.This is just another helpful way the City of Austin's Small Business Development Program (SBDP) supports local small businesses.

Here's how it works. Just visit www.ExploreLocalAustin.org and make sure you meet the minimal criteria. Spend less than a minute entering your business name and location and put your small business on the map. And if you want to support local Austin businesses, use www.ExploreLocalAustin.org to buy local.

For general small business information or assistance, please visit www.AustinSmallBiz.org or call us at (512) 974-7800.
KUT has a limited offer for AIBA Members!  Act now!
To help remind Austin to keep the shop local spirit year round,  KUT Radio  is offering AIBA members special packages to promote their local businesses during the relative quiet of January and the Valentine's retail period.  Four different package options range from $600 to $2200 (discounted up to 50%) with announcements guaranteed to air in KUT news, music and weekend programming. A limited number of packages are available on a first come basis to be broadcast between now and March 4th.  

To learn more contact your KUT rep or call KUT's Samantha Gallion at 512-232-9695.  Be sure to tell them you're a member of AIBA.
Help Boomerang's Support Meals on Wheels 
Dear Merchants,
Since 2006, Boomerang's has proudly raised funds for Austin's Meals on Wheels and More through our silent auction held during our annual Australia Day Party. We are contacting you to ask your interest in donating an item for our upcoming event on January 28.

Meals on Wheels and More provides needed support to thousands of homebound and elderly individuals in the Austin area. In 2011, Meals on Wheels and More delivered approximately 967,495 meals, as well as providing many other needed services to some of our most at-risk citizens. Meals on Wheels and More is an independent, locally run, 501 c3 and is reliant on charitable donations to operate.

Boomerang's raised $1,500 at our event last January through our silent auction and other donations and we aim to improve on that amount this year.

We would be grateful for any item or service that you can provide as a silent auction item. If you are able to offer a donation, we will be happy to include your logo in our event's marketing and display materials. If you would like to donate an item we will gladly pick it up. You may also drop it off at Boomerang's at your convenience.

I appreciate your time and consideration. Please contact me if you have any questions by calling 380-0032 or email me.
Thank you, 
Jack Fennell 
Founder & CEO 
Boomerang's Pies 
TxDOT Holding Small Business Briefing
January 25, 2012
Norris Conference Center (2525 West Anderson Lane)
View registration and conference agenda online 

TxDOT will conduct a Small Business Briefing in to provide small businesses with information on how to do business with TxDOT and other major state agencies such as the Department of Information Resources, Health and Human Services, and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and others.

The Small Business Briefing will provide information on how these agencies procure services and purchase products. General industry sessions will include an overview of TxDOT Construction Projects, Professional Services (engineering) Consulting Contracts and State Contracting for Information Technology Products & Services. In addition, several breakout sessions targeted to small businesses will also be conducted on Financial Resources for Small Businesses and Marketing Your Business to the State, Small Business Certifications, and Technical Assistance for small business development. As a special bonus feature of this briefing, small businesses will have an opportunity to bid on On-the-Spot contracts under $25,000. In order to participate for these On-the-Spot contracts, you must register on-line.

TxDOT offers a wide array of contracting opportunities for which we need businesses such as yours to fulfill ours needs. We are looking for business to contract in:
1. Engineering (civil/concrete/drainage//geological/environmental/surveyor services/traffic & transportation)
2. Real Estate Professionals
3. IT services
4. Computer (hardware & supplies/software)
5. Printing
6. Construction (airport runway/curb & gutter/highway and road/parking lots/sidewalk and driveway/utility & underground projects/bridge
7. Maintenance (mowing/guardrail repair/lighting/excavation service/demolition/tree trimming/flooring maintenance/glass replacement/carpet cleaning/roofing/pest control)
8. All good/services (office supplies/staffing/personnel firms/HVAC/Plumbing/builders/painting/signs/material suppliers/safety equipment/fencing/janitorial supplies & services/office furniture/office equipment/radio and telecommunication equipment

TxDOT spends annually upwards of 6 billion dollars and consist of 25 districts, 20 divisions and 15,000 employees. These districts, divisions and employees are supported by your business to help sustain our operations in fulfilling our contract needs. Several major reasons we are having this small business briefing is to introduce you to our purchasing department, engineers and all of our areas of contract opportunities. By personally introducing you to these personnel, it is our intention for you to understand everything we contact for and the processes by which we contract. This briefing will conclude with an Industry Networking Session and Reception.

For additional information on this briefing, please contact the Business Opportunity Programs Office at 512-486-5524. We look forward to doing business with you.
Get a FREE AIBA Member Banner
for Your Business

NEW! Tout your local independent status to customers inside and outside your business. Simply request a banner! Contact Rebecca at 441-2123.
Please don't hesitate to contact me about anything regarding local business in Austin. I'm here to represent and support you.

Rebecca Melançon
AIBA Executive Director