Executive Director of the Albuquerque Independent Business Alliance keepitquerque.org
What role does AIBA play in the community?
We are the voice for locally owned businesses, supporting the sustainability of our local economy and the charm of our city.
How many stores are a part of AIBA?
AIBA has about 275 members now, most of which are businesses. We have nonprofit organizations and some individuals as members, as well. The membership committee plans to have 500 members by the end of the year. Sign up!
Do you own a business? How long has it been around?
I own Visions Video Productions, producing independent films, educational programs, documentaries, commercials, and recordings of special and family events. I've been in business since 2003 and just love making films that open people's minds and hearts and that make a difference. It's my passion now!
Why is it so important to shop local?
Every time you spend a dollar at a locally owned business rather than at a chain or big box store, that money stays in town and recirculates 3.5 times more. That means our businesses thrive, our friends and neighbors keep their (better-paying) jobs and the city gets more gross receipts revenue to fix the potholes, hire police and create parks.
How are small businesses the backbone of a city's economy?
We need jobs these days, and 80 percent of all new jobs come from small businesses (ones with 20 or fewer employees). On top of the obvious things like jobs, locally owned businesses also contribute value to the city through being unique, charming, delicious and interesting ... to local folks and to tourists.
How are independent businesses in Albuquerque faring under the national economy?
They are challenged by the economic downturn and are looking for ways to streamline without laying off employees if possible. They are working to keep the customers they already have by offering more value and service, and AIBA members are looking around and supporting each other more consciously.