The Humboldt County Independent Business Alliance (HumIBA) is a coalition of locally-owned independent businesses, citizens and community organizations united to support hometown businesses in Humboldt County.

Independent Business Alliances are a proven tool for protecting unique community character, ensuring continued opportunities for entrepreneurs, building local economic strength, and preventing the displacement of locally-owned businesses by chains.

HumIBA works to ensure that the decision-making power over our community’s future remains with the people who live here.

Why Support Local Independent Business

Locally-owned independent businesses are essential to a vital local economy and community character. They use the goods and services of other local businesses, serve as community hubs, and are a key component of healthy neighborhoods and strong city centers. They're where the locals go. They're owned by our friends and neighbors, or maybe even by you.

The ever increasing number of absentee-owned chains -- with formulas dictating everything from the look of the building to who does the printing to where the money gets deposited -- has unhealthy consequences. It's not just local businesses who suffer -- our communities are losing social, cultural and economic strength, opportunities for entrepreneurship, and the ability to create their own futures.

What We Do...

HumIBA Has Four Focus Areas:

(1) Informing citizens about the value of community-based businesses and their importance to the local economy, culture and social fabric.

(2) Strengthening the voice of the locally-owned independent business community by creating strong relationships with local government and the media.

(3) Elevating the profile of our community-based businesses through group branding and advertising to help level the playing field with national chains.

(4) Developing and supporting policies that promote community-rooted enterprise.

HumIBA works with other Humboldt County organizations and agencies dedicated to appropriate economic development and related issues in order to ensure a strong economic future for our region.

Our first big project was publishing a comprehensive guide to the local independent businesses of Humboldt County: the Local Options Directory.

Defining "Local Independent Business"

Defining “local” and "independent" can be difficult, but criteria are important to provide clarity for anyone who uses the Local Options Directory or participates in HumIBA.

In order to be listed in the directory or become a business member of HumIBA, owners must answer “yes” to all the following questions:

1. Is your business privately, employee, community, or cooperatively-owned (not publicly traded)?

2. Do the business owners, totaling greater than 50% of the business ownership, live in Humboldt County?

3. Is your business located in Humboldt County, with no other national headquarters outside Humboldt County?

4. Can your business make independent decisions regarding the name and look of your business, as well as all business purchasing, practices, and distribution?

5. Do you have six or fewer branches or outlets?