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Inspired by the success of the very first community-based trade association called Atlanta Retailers Association (ARA), the Aga Khan Economic Planning Board of United States appointed a special task force in 1998 to establish similar trade associations in other geographical areas. As a result of this effort, Greater Austin Cooperative Merchants Association (GAMA) came into being on October 5, 1999.

Since then, GAMA along with a group of twelve trade associations, serve convenience store and gasoline station owners under the umbrella of the National Alliance of Trade Associations (NATA) by equipping the business owners with bulk purchasing power, industry know-how, and the right connections to strengthen their business models and practices.

Despite the current recession, GAMA has been blessed with extraordinary growth over the years. In its inaugural year, GAMA’s membership was 150. Ten years later, its membership grown to over 300 members. Collectively, the GAMA members dominate over 35% of the convenience store market share in the Austin area.