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 limited to Austin, Texas. But now I stand at the edge of a new horizon.

As a co-founder of the national Local Business Institute, I have the opportunity to work on a large small scale. Large as in national. Small as in my focus remains small local business. I’m particularly proud of the work we are doing for local business and the nonprofit organizations that represent them through two new programs. Please allow me to introduce these.

The Local Business Institute Expands its Work and Community

At the Local Business Institute (LBI or Libby as we call her) we are committed to the goal of helping locally-owned businesses across the country. Even beyond that we seek to help in the creation and support of thriving, sustainable local business communities through education, policy & research and economic development. That’s a lofty way of saying we’re focused on local business and We Speak Local! But exactly how do we help? We’ve just launched two new programs, the LBI Virtual Campus and the LocalFirst Community.

One of the best ways we can see to do that is to support the nonprofiit organizations that support the local businesses in their communities. We have committed our resources and assets to this mission—the LocalFirst Community.

We’re building the LocalFirst Community to include any nonprofit organization whose members are small local businesses including Merchant Associations, Collectives, Guilds, Independent Business Alliances, Chambers of Commerce and more. Membership in the LocalFirst Community holds many benefits for organizations of all sizes including discounts for their members and a Revenue Share program on classes, grants and sponsorships.

But more than specific benefits, the Community gains strength with all of our participation—Strength to aid one another, strength to collectively grow local businesses and strength to propel all of us to sustain thriving local economies. Read more about the LocalFirst Community on LocalBusinessInstitute.org.

The Local Business Institute is also excited to announce the launch of the LBI Virtual Campus. The Virtual Campus offers online and on-demand classes written specifically for small businesses. You’ll find three types of classes: Classes for small local businesses, classes for community building organizations to help local business, and (coming soon) classes for starting a small local business. New classes will be added monthly. See what the Virtual Campus has to offer at localbusinessinstitute.thinkific.com.

The online and on-demand structure allows for maximum flexibility on taking a class so business owners can proceed at their own pace and as time allows. These classes deliver real-world, practical information in a fun and lively interactive experience. We know how valuable time is to local business owners, so we produced engaging and condensed presentations. Each class is made up of 15-minute segments easily configured into a busy day. Take one at a time or several, it’s up to you.

All classes were written and designed by the founders of the Local Business Institute—Rebecca Melançon, Julie Niehoff and Vicky Valdez. Together we have more than 90 years of experience with small local business and education. What that really means is that We Speak Local and you’re in good hands.

At LBI, we are excited to move forward on these two important programs and hope you’ll join us along the way.