Momentum grows for local independent business group |

Momentum grows for local independent business group

KEELY BROWNspecial to the daily

FRISCO A statewide gathering held in Frisco last week by the American Independent Business Alliance showed potential for the creation of a local alliance for small businesses, according to Alliance director Jeff Milchen.While most of the attendees were local business owners, Milchen said that there was also a sprinkling of people from other areas, such as nearby Eagle and Chaffee counties.The questions were all about how to do it, as opposed to whether to do it, Milchen said. There seemed to be no significant reservations everyone felt that this was very much needed in the Summit County community.Milchen said that it was clear by the end of the day that there will soon be a Summit County Independent Alliance in the works, thanks to the avid interest shown by local independent business owners.There certainly was plenty of enthusiasm for driving this effort forward, Milchen said. There will be some big challenges ahead, but we look forward to seeing what happens here.Hosted by the Alliance, the Summit on Community Economic & Environmental Vitality meeting held at the Community and Senior Center in Frisco served as an introduction to the concept of creating an Independent Business Alliance affiliate for Summit County an idea which has gained momentum among a number of local independent business owners during the last several months. The meeting featured day-long presentations by Milchen as well as Michael Kinsley, a senior consultant from the Rocky Mountain Institute, who discussed the economic importance of local independent ownership, and the problems created when communities focus on attracting new businesses rather than growing from within.In the afternoon, Milchen and Kinsley delved into a nuts and bolts overview of organizational topics, ranging from affiliate structuring to funding issues. While some of the attendees had already been involved in earlier discussions about creating an Independent Business Alliance affiliate in Summit County, Milchen said most of the attendees were fairly new to the idea and eager to learn. Many of the questions from the audience, Milchen said, had to do with basics such as how Independent Alliance affiliates are funded, and how affiliates can best work with local and county government as well as local chambers of commerce.

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