Pub. 4 2023-2024 Issue 1

Introduction to the Small Firm Exchange (SFx)

The mission of the AIA SFx is to advance the mutual interests of architects practicing in small firms. The objectives of the AIA SFx are three-fold:

  1. Advocate the value of small firms, the national SFx and local SFx groups, both within the AIA and to the public.
  2. Curate and disseminate the most pertinent resources and information, from the AIA and elsewhere, that benefit small firms.
  3. Inform the AIA of current issues facing small firms and areas in which current resources/information are lacking.

Approximately 75% of all firms within the AIA are small firms (less than 10 employees), which equates to 14,459 small firms within the organization:

  • About 26.8% are sole practitioners, making up 5,173 small firms
  • About 33.5% have 1-5 employees, making up 6,459 small firms
  • About 14.7% have 5-10 employees, making up 2,827 small firms

We need to find ways to leverage that size for collaboration and influence, just like the individual large firms do.

I am the current state representative for the SFx. We have been meeting monthly(ish) with topics geared towards addressing questions or concerns that pertain to small firm members. Over the past year, we have been lucky to have presentations on topics including:

  • Marketing and Branding Solutions for Small Firms with Keri Hammond and Julee Attig
  • Opportunities offered by the Small Business Association (SBA) with Donald MacMillan
  • Heath Insurance Benefits for Small Firms with Brock Buckway and Chance Peterson from Moreton & Company

Our meetings are open to anyone interested in small firm issues — current owners and employees, people considering starting their own firms and graduates interested in networking. We want to build a community here where, as small firm practitioners, we can turn to for resources, questions and support.

Additionally, the national SFx member group is continuing to develop content and resources for small firm practitioners. You can visit their website at to find links to the quarterly newsletter, the AIAU Small Firm Series, the Small Firm Compensation Report, how small firms can participate in the 2030 Commitment and find a business plan template for small firms. You can also follow their social media accounts for more up-to-date information on opportunities and information relevant to small firms.




We are also looking for volunteers interested in building this community — helping find content for meet-ups, maintaining communication with small firm members and creating a social media presence are just some of the areas where we can use help! If you are interested, please reach out to us at

We look forward to announcing more events soon. Please make sure to keep an eye out, and reach out if you’d like to join our mailing list!