Independent Retailer Month is in July, but you can get started on your planning now, both for your own business and for your community.

The Independent Retailer Month website,, includes a wide variety of ideas and activities to celebrate the month, as well as social media samples, downloadable promotional materials, and even a searchable U.S. map for merchants who would like to register their businesses to attract independents fans.

The event started as National Independent Retailer Week in 2003 and expanded to the entire month in 2011. IRM gives business owners and local business organizations a chance to highlight the importance of independent retailers in their communities, while reminding consumers of the benefits of shopping locally.