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There are really only three reasons to be an AIBA member. 
1. Because you believe in what we’re doing.
2. Because we can help you and your business.
3. Because we can embrace you in a community of your peers—the AIBA Community.
 
Everything we do, everything we offer, everything we are, falls into one of these three reasons. But these are three powerful reasons to belong to a community.
 
1. Because you believe in what we’re doing.
From advocacy for local business to educating the public about shopping locally, we focus on the needs, interests and concerns of our members. Fifteen years ago, when AIBA was born, no one talked about locally owned as a value. Now it’s part of our community’s value system and part of their decision making as a consumer. Ten years ago local business was bidding against out of town and out of state companies to get contracts with the City of Austin. Today, local businesses get 10 extra points for being locally owned—often enough to get the contract. Five years ago there was little conversation at City Hall about local business. There was a nod to small business but little recognition to the economic powerhouse that locally owned businesses represent. Today the dialogue has shifted to the impact and concerns of local business owners. None of this happened accidentally.
 
Advocacy is the one thing that we cannot do alone. It take a community of voices to achieve change. If you believe, as we do, that local business is the bedrock of our economy, culture and community, you must be a member of AIBA.
 
2. Because we can help you and your business.
What is it that you need? What does your business need? The answers will vary from more customers to employee advice to a fresh perspective to favorable loan terms and more. We work to provide what you need both personally and for your business. Need an introduction to another member? Just ask. Need a little education on social media trends. Just ask or come to one of our luncheon events. Need to gain more customers? Whether you are B to B, B to C or both, we’ll spread the word to potential customers for you. In fact, we are the only business organization (actually we are a Chamber of Commerce for local business) that markets our members to customers. 
 
Looking to triple your business? We don’t have a magic wand (although we think our community is pretty magical). Only you can grow your business. But AIBA is a great tool to have in your toolbox.
 
3. Because we can embrace you in a community of your peers—the AIBA Community.
Look up the definition of community and you’ll find “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” That certainly describes the AIBA Community. The fellowship of your peers provides more than a sense of well-being, although that is hugely important. It provides insight, feedback, understanding, advice, a laugh when you need it and shoulder when you seek it. 
 
Perhaps my favorite definition is a scientific one. “A group of interdependent organisms of different species growing or living together in a specified habitat.” We are all different businesses. We are all in the Austin community. Most importantly, we are all interdependent. We support one another, both in using other local businesses for our own business and personal needs (you do, right?) and referring business to one another. By being interdependent while we’re independent, we are not alone.