The Movement


Every day, from neighborhood to neighborhood across Nashville,  independent business owners drive innovation, build community and better the quality of life for all in our city.

Community-serving businesses are the engine of  our local economy, culture, civic life, local charities, and wealth creation,  as well as a training ground for future generations of entrepreneurs.

 Problem:  Today established independent businesses and organizations in Nashville face unprecedented competition from corporate and chain businesses who have economies of scale and brand recognition. They are being priced out of the very neighborhoods they helped to grow. Some are closing their doors because of the inability to stand out in a quickly growing marketplace. While independent businesses are the backbone of our economy and communities, they are often left out of economic development strategies and efforts. Too often they don’t have a seat at the table when important decisions are made.

 This recent study by the Kauffman Foundation shows Nashville and Charlotte were the ONLY two Metro areas that saw a decline in small business activity (50 and fewer employees operating for 5+ years) among the top 40 U.S. metro areas in 2015.

 Solution: A nonprofit advocate made up of Nashville independent business owners and community residents that use our collective voice and actions to monitor, protect and advocate for the cultural and economic environment in which we live and do business.  Nashville Independent Business Alliance is a network that provides a platform to express opinions and challenges, garner the wisdom and knowledge of fellow entrepreneurs, take collective action and certify your business as locally-owned and independent. The Indie Nash movement is a stamp of independence. A movement to sustain and fuel the independent spirit which makes us proud to call Nashville home.  It is a collective voice and vision based on the shared value that collaboration over competition is how we keep Nashville’s independent spirit thriving today, tomorrow and 20 years from now.

Through our collective voice and actions we will inspire, empower and champion a movement to keep Nashville’s independent spirit thriving.
The power is in the people. 

Join Nashville.


NIBA was founded in 2015 by a group of  volunteer independent business owners and residents. With an all-volunteer team it has executed numerous program initiatives, including participation from all of the 2015 Mayoral candidates in the Indie Week Challenge. NIBA represents over 150 independent businesses (and growing daily). 
We are a proud affiliate of the American Independent Business Alliance with access to resources from 64 alliances around the country. NIBA is also a member and/or supporter of BALLE, American Sustainable Business Council + Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

NIBA Director
Telisha Arguelles Cobb

Telisha Arguelles Cobb is the Founder and Director of Nashville Independent Business Alliance.  She currently leads day to day efforts for the organization.

In November 2011, Cobb alongside her husband, Chris, and business partner, Josh Billue, opened concert + event space,  Marathon Music Works. It was during this time that Cobb began to grow an awareness and passion for advocacy needs within the community. She stepped away from operations in 2012 to serve as an organizer on a variety of community issues.

Cobb has received advocacy and direct action organizing training from leaders at Organizing for Action, The Gamamiell Foundation, The Truman Project, American Independent Business Alliance, Vote Run Lead, The Eric Brown Venture and Moms Demand Action. She is a 2016 New Leaders Council Institute Alumni and was recently appointed to a four year term by Mayor Megan Barry to serve on the Metro Nashville Beer Permit Board. Cobb has served as a citizen lobbyist on bills affecting women, children and small business owners in the TN General Assembly and US Congress.

As a first generation middle class citizen through independent business ownership, Cobb is an emerging leader in economic development strategies which strengthens and grows the middle class and local economies.  She is a 15 year Nashville resident, native Tennessean and a proud mom and wife.

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