2013 Local Business Conference

The first Local Business Conference was held on October 10, 2013. The conference was designed to identify obstacles to local business and to find solutions for those obstacles. In this half day event, more than 350 obstacles were identified.

The group of more than fifty business owners then consolidated and prioritized the obstacles in order to identify eleven specific goals. Goals with a red star indicate that the goal was achieved.

2013 City of Austin Goals

1. Hire a Local Business Liaison.
This was introduced in the 2012 Local Business Manifesto and again in the April 2012 City Council Resolution. It’s time for local business to have someone to turn to.

2. Improve the process in the permitting department.
The process of obtaining permits is confusing and time consuming. We need to make this easier.

3. Improve approach and implementation of code enforcement.
Change the attitude in this department from a punishment approach to a helpful approach.

4. City of Austin should choose local vendors first.
Create policies and directives to choose local businesses first in all purchases at the City of Austin.

2013 AIBA Goals

5. Make AIBA a more powerful force at City Hall.
Begin by increasing membership and involving more members in city Hall activities. Become more vocal for local!

6. Hold membership drives.
Create and market membership drives.

7. Create more advertising opportunities for members.
Purchase full page ads in local media that AIBA members can participate in.

8. Enhance AIBA member community through an online forum.
Add an interactive forum for members only in the new website. This can be used for ideas, communication, networking, seeking products or services and more.

9. Include more education for members.
Create more events (luncheons, breakfasts, webinars and articles) that inform and educate AIBA members on a variety of topics for business.

2013 Local Business Goals

10. Help increase membership. 
AIBA will create talking points for members to share with other businesses. Hold membership happy hours
where members must bring a prospective member to attend.

11. Carry the Buy Local message to customers.
Remember to educate your customers to buy local. Use materials from AIBA and create your own. Include the Buy Local message in everything you do.

A Leadership Circle of ten business owners was formed to find solutions and policies to achieve the eleven goals. The Leadership Circle met monthly for one year to help achieve these goals.

2013 Leadership Circle

The 2013-2014 Leadership Circle of AIBA members is tasked with guiding the process for accomplishing our goals.

Jenny Allenbaugh
Law Offices of Jenny Allenbaugh

Alison Barnwell
Live Oak Gottesman

Jennie Bennett
23rd Street Renaissance Artists’ Market

Linda Burton
Sendero Health Plans

Cameron Lockley
Gusto Italian Kitchen

Keith Miller
Authorized Credit Card Systems

Denise Reid
Mercury Permits

Thomas Smith
ETMG Insurance Management Solutions

Sharon Watkins

Eric Wilkerson