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Small Biz Tip of the Month: Embrace Your Small Business Niche

Small Biz Tip of the Month: Embrace Your Small Business Niche

Independent, locally owned businesses offer everything from best-selling books and next-generation electronics to organic produce and freshly baked sweets – but they may rarely sell them in one place. More often than not, local businesses specialize in a particular niche, such as books, sporting goods or even microbrews. Still, they must continually compete against one-stop-shop superstores, boasting low prices and endless inventories. Rather than assimilating to the big-box business model,…read more →

Local First Chicago Helps Small Businesses Declare Their Independence

Local First Chicago Helps Small Businesses Declare Their Independence

The Chicago metro area – also known as Chicagoland – is home to some 9.4 million people and more than 200,000 small businesses. As the third largest metro area in the country, those small businesses have a large economy to support. Fortunately, Local First Chicago offers the tools and expertise that Chicagoland small businesses need to keep their neighborhoods running smoothly. Managed by volunteers from the local business community, Local…read more →

Main Street Programs Boost Community Investment to New Heights

Main Street Programs Boost Community Investment to New Heights

No matter what the retail giants like Amazon do (or purchase), they can’t seem to diminish the power of Main Streets and their small businesses across the country. According to the National Main Street Center (NMSC), U.S. Main Street programs drove a 10-year high in community reinvestment in 2016. Communities where such programs exist reinvested $5.75 billion, established 5,498 new businesses, created 26,909 new jobs and rehabilitated 7,794 buildings throughout…read more →

Selling Delight: The Small Business Advantage

Selling Delight: The Small Business Advantage

by Charles Barr, Co-founder of LVRG I was at a dinner gathering a few weeks ago, and some of the guests were talking about trips they’d recently taken. One of the attendees told a story about a weekend getaway, where his wife and kids visited an ice cream shop in Chicago. This particular ice cream shop was recommended by another family, so they were eager to go. One night after…read more →

Amazon Could Enter The Pharmacy Business – But Should It?

Amazon Could Enter The Pharmacy Business – But Should It?

It’s no secret that Amazon’s foothold in the American economy has been growing for years. What started as an online venture to sell books has morphed into an all-consuming retail giant, offering everything from groceries to furniture. Amazon even sells its own, proprietary products, such as the Kindle e-reader and the Echo personal assistant device. In fact, 46 percent of U.S. households include at least one member of Amazon’s Prime…read more →

Shop Local This Father’s Day

Shop Local This Father’s Day

He already has three “World’s Greatest Dad” mugs, and he doesn’t need another wacky tie to add to the growing collection in the back of his closet. Instead, get your dad something he’ll really love this Father’s Day, like a unique, personal item from a local business. Maybe he needs a new toolbox from the hardware store down the street, or a relaxing dinner at a local restaurant, perhaps even…read more →

Color Haven Paint & Supply Paints It Forward

Color Haven Paint & Supply Paints It Forward

Last year, Color Haven Paint & Supply, a local PPG Pittsburgh Paints dealer in Fremont, Ohio, donated more than 100 gallons of paint to refurbish the nearby Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museums.

MainStreet DeLand Wins Second-Annual America’s Main Streets Contest

MainStreet DeLand Wins Second-Annual America’s Main Streets Contest

For the second year in a row, Independent We Stand has awarded more than $25,000 in cash and prizes, plus a brag-worthy title, to one deserving Main Street program. The America’s Main Streets contest celebrates local communities across the country, while recognizing the groups working to keep them vibrant. This year, MainStreet DeLand of DeLand, Florida, claimed the top spot in IWS’ America’s Main Streets contest. Situated about 30 miles…read more →

5 Main Street Events to Visit in June

5 Main Street Events to Visit in June

Have you visited Main Street lately? This month, the school year will wind down, the temperatures will trend up and the local fun will be all around. Main Street events are a great source of family fun, but they also hold a special role in the local economy. Street fairs, ladies’ nights and bar crawls encourage residents to visit their local businesses, which drive the local economy through continuous reinvestment…read more →

7 Apps That Will Put Your Small Business In Front Of Consumers

7 Apps That Will Put Your Small Business In Front Of Consumers

It’s common knowledge that the consumers of today overwhelmingly tend to search for and evaluate local businesses online. They head to sites like Google, Yelp and TripAdvisor to find information such as business hours, menu items and customer reviews. When consumers are on the go, though, they’re more likely to use an app for this research than a web browser. To reach these curious customers, your small business should be…read more →

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