Workshop Will Focus on Strengthening and Sustaining Local Independent Businesses

Local business owners will learn strategies for strengthening public support for independent restaurants and retailers at a workshop sponsored by the City of Fresno on Friday.

The program, presented by the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), will highlight the community and economic benefits of sustaining a strong base of local, independently-owned businesses.

Workshop participants will hear success stories from other communities which have built a culture of local business support through effective branding, community education and a variety of other efforts. The presentation will include discussions on public information campaigns, collaborative purchasing, and shared marketing and media strategies for independent business owners.

The event is hosted by the Independent Restaurant and Retailer Affinity Group, which was formed in 2009 as part of an effort by the City of Fresno to better meet the needs of local, small businesses. The group is working to increase awareness among consumers about the vital role locally owned businesses play in sustaining and growing Fresno’s economy.

“When consumers spend more of their money at locally-owned businesses, the economy thrives because every dollar is re-circulated several times within the community,” said Craig Scharton, Director of the City of Fresno Downtown and Community Revitalization Department. “This multiplier effect is a critical component in the City’s economic development strategy, which is focused on developing a culture of support for locally owned businesses in Fresno.”

The AMIBA workshop will be held upstairs at Austin’s Restaurant, 820 Van Ness Avenue, from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Registration is free for local, independent business owners. For more information, contact Amy Huerta, City of Fresno Local Business Initiatives Manager, at 621-8362 or