The American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) has launched a national “Business Against Bigotry” campaign to encourage independent businesses and community groups to counter trends of discrimination. After hearing reports of local discrimination and intimidation from several Independent Business Alliances around the U.S., AMIBA is enabling business owners to take a lead role in ensuring all people feel safe and welcome in local businesses and commercial areas.
Independent businesses are part of the ‘third place’ in our society – places in addition to work and home that we gather. As such, we think our nation’s independent businesses are perfect havens for people of all walks to feel welcome and honored as patrons. We also encourage business owners and managers not only to step up to embrace diversity, but also to be willing to step out – to be vocal diversity advocates both inside and outside of their business. Diversity makes a business stronger, and it makes our communities stronger, too.
The Business Against Bigotry campaign offers guidance to help business owners be a force for peace and diminish bigotry within their communities through advocacy and dialogue. Trainings will provide local business coalition leaders with the tools they need to facilitate community gatherings aimed at deepening understanding and creating local action plans for safer, more respectful communities. These trainings and much of the campaign are enabled by a grant from Open Society Foundations.