Alternatives to WMC: Community-Friendly Business Alliances

September 12, 2013
Wisconsin Wave

Wisconsin Business Alliance

The Wisconsin Business Alliance is a nonpartisan, nonprofit statewide organization for community-minded business owners and professionals. The WBA does not get involved in electoral politics, but does lobby the legislature on issues such as broadband access, health care, retirement security, renewable energy, clean water, and education. It also provides services to members such as education on regulation compliance and a legal hotline. The Wisconsin Business Alliance website states, “We want policies that help our businesses grow, protect our quality of life, and make it easier for us to do business.”


American Independent Business Alliance

The American Independent Business Alliance is a national nonprofit organization that helps communities launch and operate Independent Business Alliances comprised of independent, locally-owned businesses. AMIBA also provides support for “buy independent, buy local” campaigns, pro-local policies, and other initiatives to support local entrepreneurs and vibrant local economies. It offers consulting services and custom materials for municipal governments, independent trade associations, Main Street and downtown groups, selected local chambers and others. AMIBA also holds a biannual “Go Local, Grow Local” conference to build the localization movement.


Business Alliance for Local Living Economies

The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies is a national nonprofit organization working to foster a system of human-scale, interconnected local economies that meet the basic needs of all people and create prosperity for all. BALLE equips entrepreneurs with tools and strategies for local success, and connects local economy leaders and funders to share proven solutions, build their capacity, and innovate. In addition to prioritizing local businesses and emphasizing do-it-yourself entrepreneurship, BALLE’s core principles include using community capital to finance healthy local economies, and linking local businesses to work together on building sustainable local economies.


Main Street Alliance

The Main Street Alliance is a national network of state-based small business coalitions. The MSA gives small business owners the opportunity to speak for themselves, and advance public policies that are good for their businesses, their employees, and the communities they serve. Based on the principle that small businesses thrive when communities thrive, the MSA values sustainability, accountability, transparency in relationships with government, and commitment to local communities.


Small Business Majority

Smalls Business Majority is an advocacy group founded and run by small business owners to find solutions to the biggest problems facing small business owners today. SBM conducts surveys of small business owners on pressing issues, uses research to formulate policy recommendations, and works with policymakers to find practical solutions. It also offers webinars and other resources to educate small business owners and convey their perspectives to policymakers and the media.