The Pikes Peak Independent Business Alliance needs volunteers to contact members and plan events to promote local businesses.

“We had a few setbacks in the last part of 2005,” said Andy Gipe, president of the PPIBA. “But we do have the Web site up, and the online director is working. We just need manpower at this point. We’re trying to get back in touch with members and get things started again.”

PPIBA is a nonprofit organization that promotes the local, independent business community. The group teaches people about the benefits of local business and how shopping locally affects the area’s economy. The organization also allows members to work together to compete against chains and big-box retailers.

“PPIBA encourages consumers and businesses to ‘think local first’ when making buying decisions,” Gipe said. “We vote with our dollars, and we hope that you will vote local.”

The group also needs volunteers to serve on its board of directors.

“We need all the help we can get at this point,” he said. “We’re trying to get re-established, so we can keep doing the work we’re doing.”

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Interested volunteers can contact Gipe at or 659-3930.

Shops at Briargate assist TESSA

A cell phone can make a difference for victims of violence. And the Shops at Briargate are making it easier for consumers to donate old cell phones to nonprofit groups helping those victims.

TESSA, a local agency dedicated to domestic violence and sexual assault issues, accepts donations of new and used cell phones and provides some of them to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Through a national agency, the cell phones are programmed to dial 911 only. TESSA also sells the phones to a refurbishing company to help support the agency’s operating needs.

Cell phones can be dropped off at the Shops at Briargate’s management office, which is between the Coldwater Creek and Pottery Barn stores.

For more information about TESSA, visit or call 633-1462.

Retail Federation backs repeal of antidumping act

The National Retail Federation supports legislation passed by the Senate that repeals the Byrd Amendment – the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act.

“The Byrd Amendment represents an egregious example of corporate welfare that has given hundreds of millions of dollars in no-strings-attached government subsidies to a handful of companies at the expense of national security, natural disaster recovery and a host of other critical spending priorities,” said Erik Auto, vice president of the NRF. “Byrd is a waste of government money that we simply can’t afford to keep on the books any longer.”

The Senate voted 51 to 50 to approve a House-Senate conference report on SB 1932, the Deficit Reduction Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 2005, sponsored by New Hampshire’s Sen. Judd Gregg, chairman of the budget committee. The wide-ranging budget-cutting measure includes the repeal of the act, which is named after its author, Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia.

In a nutshell, the Byrd Amendment mandates that fines collected in antidumping cases be sent to companies that bring the cases.

A Government Accountability Office report released in September revealed that nearly half of the $1 billion in payments made under the CDSOA had gone to only five companies and two-thirds had been paid to only three industries: bearings, candles and steel. The report noted that the World Trade Organization ruled the

CDSOA violates international trade rules, and U.S. trading partners have begun imposing retaliatory duties on U.S. exports.

Auto said the NRF opposes the Byrd Amendment because it encourages abuse of antidumping laws. The measure subsidizes the filing of antidumping cases, encourages the inclusion of products not available from U.S. producers and makes it difficult to terminate existing antidumping sanctions.

The NRF represents an industry with more than 1.4 million U.S. retail establishments, more than 23 million employees.

REI providing winter workshops

Colorado Springs REI is sponsoring several outdoor trips and workshops about winter fun.

Winter Trails Day is set for 10 a.m. Jan. 7. A free snowshoe festival at Echo Lake in Mt. Evans will feature a demonstration about snowshoes for adults and children. Guided hikes, snow activities and outdoor gear displays also will be available.

From Interstate 70, take the Evergreen Parkway exit to Highway 103 or take the Mt. Evans exit at Idaho Springs for Route 103 and continue for 14 miles.

The event is free. REI staff members ask people to arrive before 2 p.m.

The store also will offer an avalanche awareness workshop at 7 p.m. Jan. 24. The event features experts who have worked for the national ski patrol and Colorado organizations Alpine Rescue, Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol and the Crested Butte Mountain Guides.

Amy Gillentine covers retail for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.