The Independent Business Association (“IBA”), began gathering as a group of retail visionaries in November 2005. We officially incorporated the organization as, the, Independent Retailers’ Association (“IRA”) March 2006.Together, we began the growth and progress of the organization and our plans to be a vital force in building Detroit’s economic strength.
OUR ORIGINAL VISION
In our original mission statement we shared that IRA retailers were dedicated to, “people of color who are vastly under served.” Along our journey the energy of our mission attracted a much broader base of
business owners than we ever imagined. . .
This unexpected response made us revisit our original intention and our name. We discussed it and even argued a bit. Finally, we voted and agreed to include
those non-retail businesses who shared and wanted in on our vision. We agreed to open our concept and the organization to ALL independently owned and
RUFUS BARTELL, Founder IBA
In 2009, our collective membership officially embraced the idea to invite and include beyond retail. We then began to rebrand ourselves as Detroit’s, Independent Business Association, “IBA.”
OUR “CORE” MISSION REMAINS
While our name and focus on retail has changed, our core mission has not. From IRA to IBA, our goal is to act as a collaborative group better equipped to promote and pursue collective interests of independent businesses and their customers.United in our purpose, IBA achieves more than we as individual, “independent” business owners are able to alone.