Sunday, January 17, 2016

New Albany 1st, now somewhere in Asia -- but pendulums have a way of swinging.

As the screenshot illustrates, NA 1st's web site has fallen under Oriental control. The Facebook page offered a handful of updates in 2015, but overall, I think it's safe to say that the organization is moribund.

New Albany First is the only Independent Business Alliance that exists solely to support and promote independent business owners and to educate community members about the importance of buying locally in New Albany and Floyd County.

This isn't to be construed as criticism. Rather, it's about determination.

One of the recurring conundrums of such an organization is that it depends on the efforts of the very people who have the least time to pursue them. This ball was kept in the air for a long time, and mirroring the experiences of individuals resolving to quit smoking or lose weight, it sometimes requires multiple efforts amid changing circumstances.

The good news is that New Albany IndieFest, itself an offshoot of NA 1st, is building a board and seeking status as a 501(c)3. In my opinion, it may be possible eventually for roles to be reversed, and the indie biz ethos to be disseminated from IndieFest.

It also is conceivable that should Develop New Albany return to its original purpose as a National Main Street organization, its economic restructuring arm might function as indie advocate.

However, the very first necessary element is for independent business owners to grasp the utility of unity for a common purpose. Perhaps New Albany isn't unusual, though it seems that here, there is a perennial unwillingness to understand that independence is furthered through the strength of the collective, especially when the clout of the economic forces resisting independence is greater.

I'm an optimist, and believe unity will occur. Given the challenges on the horizon, let's hope "now" arrives soon.

The monthly merchant group meeting is Tuesday, January 19 at the Elks Lodge.

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