2011 Survey Results:

2011 Survey Results: A Decent Year for Independent Businesses Overall -- a Great Year for Those Involved in IBAs!

The fifth annual post-holiday survey of independent businesses by Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self Reliance yielded powerful evidence that pro-local attitudes are growing and Independent Business Alliances (IBAs) and similarly-modeled community organizations are yielding greater benefit than ever for their members.

The survey tallied responses from 1768 businesses, all independent and locally-owned, across 49 states. About half were retailers. Among the notable results:

A larger share (61%) of respondents reported revenue growth in 2011 compared to 2010.

Independent retailers enjoyed stronger holiday sales than the retail sector as a whole. While overall holiday sales were up 4.1% in 2011, respondents reported an average increase of 6.7%.

More than three-quarters of businesses surveyed said that public awareness of the benefits of supporting local independent had increased in the last year.

Here's the result that proves the value of IBAs' educational activities: Independent businesses in communities with an active "buy indie/buy local" campaign run by a local business/citizen alliance saw revenues grow 7.2% in 2011, compared to 2.6% for those in areas without an alliance.

Congratulations to all alliance leaders for this reinforcement of your great work! Use these results to trumpet your success to local media outlets or to inspire the formation of an IBA if your community does not yet have one. Read the full ILSR report here and contact us to help you customize a press release and generate regional media coverage. Make sure you pitch radio and television as well as print. The graphics in the report can be enlarged for TV or community presentations. Learn more about waging an effective buy local campaign here.