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What is the Boulder Independent Business Alliance?

BIBA is a cooperative effort on the part of locally-owned independent businesses in the Boulder area. The purpose is to create a healthy and stable local economy where independent businesses prosper. Shared advertising and promotions, and group purchasing gives members some of the advantages chains enjoy, while remaining independent and unique businesses. An ongoing public awareness campaign to promote fully-informed decision making is a key part of the effort. We believe people who are aware of the impacts of their spending decisions and the contribution of local businesses to the character and economy of our community will more often choose to do business locally (and to seek out our members). We also provide a voice for independent business owners to keep a level playing field and prevent big business from gaining unfair advantage through public policies. BIBA itself is a non-profit organization with a paid director.

Who are the members of BIBA?

In the first eight months since BIBA's launch in January of 1998, sixty local businesses have joined, encompassing a wide range of business types. LINK Most members are within the city of Boulder, though other independent area businesses have joined as well.

Who can join?

BIBA members must have their primary place of business in the Boulder area, and be locally owned (at least 51% owned by area residents). Members are also free to make their own business decisions without the need for approval by owners or affiliates outside of the area (this does not bar participation in decisions by minority owners residing outside the area).

How is the organization funded?

We are presently funded entirely by very affordable annual memberships by businesses (on a sliding scale, call for details) and community supporters. In the future we hope to access grants for further developing the program.

Are there other programs like this elsewhere?

While there are initiatives with overlapping goals, such as community currency programs and local credit unions, we are not aware of another program designed like BIBA. Please inform us if you discover another. We are happy to consult with anyone interested in starting up similar efforts in their community. Please contact us with queries.

What benefits do members receive?

The most important benefit is a gradual raising of consciousness and shifting of dollars to local businesses over the long term in our community. There are, however many supportive community members who make a point of doing business with our member businesses. This will increase over time as we make our membership more widely publicized through publication of a consumer's guide, public presentations, and advertising.

Members receive window decals identifying them as BIBA members, listing on this website, on printed membership lists, and in creative joint promotions. Because our success depends largely on our members' support, they are also encouraged to include the BIBA logo in their own advertising and displays. We also have significant discounts offered to members by other members to increase reciprocal business and save money. We have also negotiated a member rate with Rocky Mountain Trade Card for our members to help increase business between members. We also serve as a resource for our members to access information and services to help their business. Future possibilities include a local business credit union and pooled insurance programs. There are other benefits that apply to specific types of business, please call us to learn more at 303-402-1575.

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