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It's been a busy few weeks for us here at New Albany First! The AMIBA national conference was held in Louisville at the end of March and what an amazing experience for anyone who had the chance to go. Experts in so many different areas relating to independent businesses and IBAs were on hand, the topics were stimulating and those in attendance left the conference with a renewed enthusiasm for the future of indie businesses in New Albany!

We have a couple of events upcoming that we hope that you'll be able to attend, including the "Be Local" Business Expo held in conjunction with Develop New Albany. Add to that a couple of summer seminars and a plan that is brewing for the summer...it figures to be a really exciting time for NA 1st and supporters.

Have ideas for how New Albany First can best serve your business? Let us know at info@na1st.org and let's start a discussion! We're also asking that our members spread the word about New Albany First to other business owners and individuals. While the board has worked hard in building our membership base, a few words from current members would be appreciated!

Be Local.

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The AMIBA national conference is over but the ideas and enthusiasm will remain long after. Along with learning new, innovative ways to market NA 1st and ideas for membership growth, we also got to network with other groups and hope to even form a regional association with both established and new IBAs from Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. You'll be hearing more about what we all learned in the coming weeks and months!

A huge thank you goes to Jennifer Rubenstein of the Louisville Independent Business Alliance for all her work in organizing this event. We were fortunate that we also got to play a role in the planning stages, but Jennifer's commitment was incredible. We also want to thank her and LIBA for their continued support and well-timed advice for New Albany First.

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The "Be Local" Business Expo will be held on Tuesday, May 1st in conjunction with Develop New Albany. Local businesses will have booths set up for the public to browse through between 4pm and 7pm. Booth rental for NA 1st members is $50, non-members is $75. If you're not a member of NA 1st and want to join, we'll give you a $25 discount on your membership when you sign up for a booth at the Expo.

To learn more contact Stefanie Griffith at stefanie@strandzandthreadz.com or call 502.645.6256

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Last month, the New Albany First board of directors asked the business membership for their thoughts on the issue of tolling the bridges connecting southern Indiana with Kentucky. It was a unanimous decision from those who responded and the text of the statement released by the board follows:

"Recently, New Albany First polled its membership regarding the possibility of tolls being placed on new and existing Ohio River bridges. We asked if our members thought the tolls would have a negative effect on businesses in Southern Indiana, specifically independent businesses.

Based on feedback from our members and from our board of directors, New Albany First opposes tolling of any Ohio River bridges, especially the I-64 Sherman Minton Bridge, which is a direct conduit to New Albany. We believe our local independent businesses, especially retail and dining venues, will be negatively impacted by tolls on these bridges."

We thank everyone who responded to our question and provided comments as to why they feel tolls will have an adverse effect on our local, indie businesses.

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Let's welcome our newest business members!

Earth's Art
Creative Boutique
Jimmy's Music Center
Feast BBQ
The Dandy Lion

Thanks to them for joining, to learn more about these businesses check out our "Members" section at www.na1st.org.

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