The future is local

We help create and support thriving local business communities through education, research & community-building programs.

What is the
Local Business Institute?

The Local Business Institute is a nonprofit organization based in Austin, Texas that is dedicated to the creation and support of thriving, sustainable local business communities through education, research and community-building programs. 


Our Projects

 Focus Areas


Education providing practical, real-world strategies and programs designed to help established entrepreneurs and the next generation of entrepreneurs, not just survive, but to thrive in today’s competitive and changing business landscape. 


Research begins with the Local Economic Policy Project and will continue with groundbreaking research focused on the impact of local business in their cities and towns, the larger impact across the country and the importance of their collective voice in policy-making around the world. 


We focus on the growth of local business communities across the nation through programs such as Local First and Shop Local initiatives designed to drive more business in the doors of local business.


It’s Shop Local Week!

It’s Shop Local Week!

At the Local Business Institute, we don’t refer to businesses as the classic B to B (Business to Business) or B to C (Business to Consumer). We refer to all business as H to H (Human to Human) because that’s what local business really is. It’s easy to lose sight of...

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We Speak Local

We Speak Local

I have always sought to live a life of meaning that delivered fulfillment for me and contributions to others. Most often this has been focused on the local business community—helping where I can through the tools and skills I have. In the past this has largely been...

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10 Tips to Survive a Coming Recession and Other Storms

10 Tips to Survive a Coming Recession and Other Storms

As local businesses, we’ve learned resilience. In fact, we all probably have a PhD in resilience, at least those of us who survived—make that are surviving—the pandemic.  In our third year of pandemic life, we are innovative, adept, creative survivors. There may be...

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More about what we do at LBI

Part think tank, part school, part national leadership, part training ground for local leadership, the Institute will be home to local leaders from across the country. Through special projects, distance learning, virtual and eventually live conferences, lectures and events, we will work to foster local, national and even global conversations around entrepreneurship and local economies. We will bring substantial resources to students of all ages and in many under-served regions, including many who are not currently engaged in education, policy work or business ownership at all.


Completed Projects


 Small businesses are the heartbeat of your neighborhood, the spine of your local economy and the spirit of your town.