AMIBA was founded in 2001 as part of a nationwide movement to support locally-owned, independent businesses, encourage local purchasing, and address the competitive disadvantages that independent businesses often experience due to policies and economic structures.
AMIBA has been at the forefront of a national grassroots campaign to “Buy Local” and value their community’s uniqueness. Over the last two decades, nearly 100 Independent Business Organizations (IBAs) opened in cities and rural regions, large and small, nationwide.
By the late 2010’s, AMIBA leadership began to address a larger range of issues impacting grassroots efforts to build better local economies. These ranged from the impacts of racism and bigotry, to increasing community banking and entrepreneurship support. In 2018 and 2019, AMIBA committed itself to expanding its purpose and shifting its approach to an ecosystem-based strategy of helping community leaders build on their inherent assets to create Resilient Local Economies, in which everyone, regardless of race, age, economic status, or other factors, could thrive and prosper.
Today, AMIBA continues to develop new programs, materials, and networks to advance this larger vision. AMIBA’s members are leading the development of new ways of working, buying, living, and collaborating.