WARWICK-Following the launch and the Warwick Independent Business Alliance earlier this month, the Warwick Town Board has proclaimed July 1-7 as "Independents Week" in the Town of Warwick. The proclamation was made at the Town of Warwick's board meeting on June 24 to recognize the contributions made to the Warwick community by local, independent businesses. The declaration was presented by Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton to Michael McDermott, owner of The Bookstore and co-founder of the Warwick IBA. In its resolution, the Town Board acknowledges: That "Community-based businesses are an integral part of our community character, employ the goods and services of other locally owned independent businesses and often serve as community hubs and; "That local businesses are integral to healthy neighborhoods, strong town centers and help create a distinct local identity;" and That "Warwick has a vibrant local economy comprised of many locally owned businesses who support our many volunteer organizations, retain dollars within our town and in turn depend on our residents for their economic survival." "We are delighted to have the Town Board's support of the Warwick IBA as we begin our local membership drive among the more than 300 independent businesses in our community," said IBA co-founder, Deborah Blomfield, owner of Port of Call. The declaration came a week after a group of business people, including Allen Quigly, Mark Damia, Cheryl Rogowski, Penny Steyer and Debbie Iurato, with McDermott and Blomfield, invited Warwick business owners to a presentation of "Communities at the Tipping Point." Jeff Milchen, co-founder of the American Independent Business Alliance, made the presentation to about 100 business professionals and concerned citizens. Larry Drake, president of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce, addressed the group on behalf of the chamber and its desire to work hand-in-hand with the Warwick IBA to support the local business community. Warwick is the first IBA chapter in the Northeast and the only IBA that currently has the support of its local chamber of commerce. The Warwick IBA is a business-to-community grass roots partnership of locally owned independent businesses, non-profits and individuals. It was formed in response to a belief in the benefits of supporting the local economy and in appreciation for the individual charm, character and integrity of the Town of Warwick. "Our mission," says McDermott, "is to raise awareness of the value and importance of supporting our local economy." "We are not an anti big box' organization," added Blomfield. "Our focus is on trying to level the playing field for our hometown businesses and generate awareness for the importance of buying locally in order to strengthen our economy." According to an economic impact study by the Austin, Texas, IBA, for every $100 spent with a local business, $45 remains with the community compared to $13 when spent with a local chain and has a multiplier effect of 3 to 5 times. For information on the Warwick IBA, call (845) 986-9422 or go to www.warwickiba.org.