Happy Birthday to FRIBA

first-bdayMembers, friends and associates of Friba:

With great pride we announce that we are about to begin our second year of operation, and our first year has been very successful. Thanks to all of the members and supporters that are involved in this group, and we look forward to greater involvement in giving a strong voice to local independent businesses in the Warren County area.

First, some really great news!

Due to some private donations over the past year, we are able to continue the first year’s dues structure into the second year!!! Woohoo! Since memberships renew on the date that you first joined, you will be getting an email reminding you to go online and renew, or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or mail a check to the above address. This means that anyone renewing or joining between now and next February 28, 2014 will only pay the same as the first year rate! For members, that’s only $50, for associates that’s only $75!

A Pat on the Back

What have we together done that helps the local independent businesses of the region? Actually, quite a lot since last March when we had our first kick-off meeting and presentation at the Apple House. A few of the things we have accomplished are:

 

  • Created a website presence with member list and online signup
  • Created a Facebook presence for organization
  • Launched a Facebook Lunching Local Initiative with Lunching Local drop cards
  • Provided a new teacher reception marketing message bag-stuffer
  • Started construction/patio parties at several local eating spots for member get-togethers
  • Created July Independents Week with week and month-long specials, press announcements, county and town proclamations recognizing all of us local independent businesses, and provided group advertising specials.
  • Started Holiday and ongoing Buy Local marketing campaigns that helps the community remember to think locally when they purchase. This ongoing campaign features posters, bag stuffers, ads and other marketing materials that have had a measurable increase in local buying awareness.
  • Partnered with other groups and organizations to provide presentations, seminars and workshops that help you market, learn and network with other independent businesses which helps you succeed in your business.

In this second year, we will continue all of the above, and add new initiatives to help you and your community! One new addition is Third Thursdays (Thirsty Third Thursdays to some), where we will informally gather at a local indie spot to meet and network with other members and guests. The first of these will be next Thursday, Feb 21st, at Vino124 on Main Street. Stop by anytime between 5 and 7pm and meet other members and business folk!

Strength in Numbers

So, we have a lot we want to get done this second year, and we need your help and support. At this time we have over 70 members, and in the next month would like to get at least ten more. Most businesses we talk to are interested in joining, but like all of us busy people, they forget to sign up or write the check! So, help us get these other businesses and associates signed up – they can do it online or by calling any of us on the steering committee! The more members we have, the greater our voice can be. That’s strength in numbers.

Some businesses are not sure they can join us, thinking that we only accept local independents in Front Royal or Warren County. The steering committee developed membership guidelines to help with that issue which we list here:

(Membership acceptance must receive full approval of FRIBA’s steering committee or board of directors)

Business Member $125/yr ($50 1st 100 members):
Locally owned, independent business with greater than 50% local-area ownership, and holding a Warren County business license. Owner must reside within 30 miles of registered FRIBA headquarters. Businesses are limited to a maximum of 6 locations, exceptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the membership committee. Owners must have full decision-making power for the business.

Local Non-Profit Member $50/yr:
A not-for-profit 501c organization with offices located in Warren County, Virginia.

Friend of FRIBA (non-business) $25/yr:
Any individual that supports the FRIBA mission of supporting local independent businesses.

Associate Member $175/yr ($75 1st 100 members):
Any business that does not qualify as a business member due to geographic location or other minor technical reasons, but meets most major qualifications including local decision-making and marketing ability and demonstrates local support in the community.

Partner Members $250 ($125 1st 100 members):
Those businesses that do not qualify as a business member such as regional banks, independent franchise owners etc. These businesses must be members of the local Chamber of Commerce, have offices in the local area, and be able to make local purchasing decisions. These members would be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis by the steering committee or board of directors.
Note: Associate members and Partner members receive some, but not all of the member benefits.

In summary, we hope you continue with us in this second year of operation and get involved with making this a great local organization! Contact us with your ideas and encouragement, and we look forward to a productive and profitable year for local independent business!!

Sincerely,

George McIntyre, Andi Robinson, Weatherly Boehmer, Craig Laird, Jennifer Keck
Steering Committee