ASAE Covers AIB Formation

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Rob Stott, writing in Associations Now, a magazine published by the American Society of Association Executives, covers the AIB’s founding:

Seven trade associations representing a variety of industries are launching a new coalition aimed at “bringing the conversation back to issues that matter” to small businesses.

When Advocates for Independent Business (AIB) was officially announced last month, it was essentially a formality, a logical next step for the group of seven small-business associations.

“A group of us execs have been meeting for a number of years, talking about issues that all of our members share,” said Kathleen McHugh, president of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), one of the founding organizations. “We all banded together one year and went to Washington as an unofficial coalition of independent trade organizations. That worked out so well that we decided to formalize it and give ourselves an identity, so that when we talk to other organizations like ourselves, we would be able to explain who were are and what we’re trying to do.”

AIB—whose founding members, in addition to ASTRA, include the American Booksellers Association, American Independent Business Alliance, the Independent Running Retailers Association, National Bike Dealers Association, Professional Association of Innkeepers International, and Record Store Day—plans to focus on creating a “level playing field” for retailers of all sizes. Specifically, McHugh said, the group will push for passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act—which would require online and catalog retailers to collect sales tax—and state-by-state online sales tax laws. AIB will support better access to capital for small businesses….   Read more