Monday, December 12, 2016

"Shop Local for the Holidays" Graphics and Images

Where will you chose to spend this holiday season; at a locally-owned shop or a corporate chain? Our choices are sometimes made in a rush or a panic of last-minute spending, but if you are truly in favor of supporting independent retailers, then it's important to plan ahead.

Share these graphics via Pinterest and on Facebook!

Shopping for locally-made products keeps money in your community. Support the independent businesses and craftspeople which are a part of it.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Happening November 26th - Are you ready for Small Business Saturday?

I don't always fall into the hype and buzz surrounding mainstream promotions or events. Preferring to do my own thing and following causes that seem important has meant that I generally find myself swimming upstream, against the current, in a storm of epic proportions. I didn't set out to be this way, but growing up in a rural and limited environment with few stores and shopping choices I developed a love of familiar, independent, local businesses. And then I married, and moved, and for the first time found myself surrounded by big box stores and an endless array of options and places. It was exciting and new and these stores is where everyone went and so i followed.....but it never really caught on to me. I hated huge malls and enormous all-under-one-roof kind of warehouse, and it was a relief when several years later we relocated and were again in a smaller town where people knew one another and loved their local businesses. I was home again.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Locally-owned Pet Supply Store vs Petco, Part II

Indie vs. Petco, part III...I know! (But I'm making a point here, one that began in this post)

Although I've been a loyal customer for years, buying dog food and supplies at the locally-owned shop, I rarely need to buy crates or larger items. This time, with the unexpected arrival of the dog, I needed lots of stuff. With the other half wailing in the background about Amazon being cheaper (but not available immediately of course - and besides I'm one that needs to look and see rather then just click Buy Now), I headed to my locally-owned pet supply store. Petco, less than 2 miles away, probably offered multiple styles, sizes and price points for the kennel I was hoping to get, and I was a little worried I may not find the exact one I needed at the indie shop. But as I passed the Petco on my way, here's what was running through my mind....

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"A Local Thanksgiving" | Let's Support Small Businesses

Plan ahead to support local businesses for the holidays.

Actions speak louder. Show that you are committed to independent businesses this holiday season.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Spend Locally or just go to the Big Box Store? Small Biz vs Petco

So, if you'd been around on the Facebook page over the last few days you may have seen that I was totally irritated on Friday afternoon. The lack of interaction (zero, zilch, nadda) had made me wonder why so many people will share that little graphic about "Here's an idea.....(let's support a small business this holiday)" when there are so many REAL resources and sites which completely and totally support that thought process already as a lifestyle, a choice, not just a fad to do when we feel like it. Despite there being value in what some other pages (and this one) are saying, often few people appear to actually give a hoot. You might "like" a post to be polite, or maybe share a graphic that strikes you as useful, but you never comment nor do you really keep sharing that type of material as a regular thing. And that apathy just sometimes drives me CRAZY.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Don't Let The Color Fade From Your Town | the Importance of Local Businesses

They say that by the age of 6 a child can recognize 100 corporate logos. If this is true it's terribly sad, for it reiterates the fact that to the familiar brands, colors and signs the public will gravitate. Here in my town landlords can charge much higher rents to chain stores and I've yet to meet one who would turn down additional income simply to keep a locally owned tradition around. Yet these are the people who have amassed great wealth from the very tenants they now seek to get rid of....

Monday, August 8, 2016

Celebrating Small Businesses | August 8th is National Frozen Custard Day

Sunday, 5PM: This has never happened before.....I'm sitting here researching frozen custard. Partly because the official holiday celebrating something cold sounds awesome and partly because if there's a chance to spin a holiday into a reason for YOU to tell us about your favorite local places, then we are ON IT.

And you know what I'm finding? Not much! Frozen custard apparently is not a widely-found product.....perhaps it's not mass-produced, which would make us love it more. It appears that most frozen custard icons, shops and long-time businesses are independents, often following a family recipe from decades or generations before. Are we right? Do you disagree? Comment and let us know your take on Frozen Custard so we can all celebrate correctly!

Monday, July 11, 2016

What Are You Waiting For? Support Your Independent Businesses

We can't just sit and wait until Aunt Dorothy comes into town to go to the independents which are still alive and well in our communities. We shouldn't hold off and just pick one day each year to visit the downtown area with it's small shops, or delay enjoying the family-owned diner which has been serving up breakfast for more than fifty years...because they won't be here. Businesses need customers and when they aren't supported, well, we all have a nearby downtown that has faded away, I'm sure.

Monday, June 27, 2016

How will you celebrate your "Independents" this holiday?

Just ahead on the horizon is one of the summer's biggest and most festive occasions! How will you be planning to support independent businesses for this year's 4th of July? There are so many ways!

You could book a reservation at the waterfront restaurant known for being "the place" to watch the fireworks.

You could taken advantage of perhaps an extra day off work to do a mini road trip out into the country for a visit to a local farm, pick-your-own or farmers market.

You could place an order now with the neighborhood meat shop or butcher for all that stuff you plan to be grilling on the 4th.

Gather your friends and family for an afternoon at a nearby amusement park, mini-golf course or other attraction.

Local diners rock. Look up one near you and get to know the people who make part of your community.

You could.....never mind, your turn: tell us what and why we could do to make THIS holiday about "INDEPENDENTS"!

Live Local USA | "A voice for independent businesses"

Friday, June 17, 2016

A message to the followers of "Live Local USA"

So, I thought I should let you all know about some changes. From time to time this page may not be able to post as much, or you might see a whole deluge of comments and links shared at the same time.....things are changing pretty rapidly right now and I'm just trying to keep up.

About two weeks ago I'd mentioned we were venturing out to try an unknown independent for a special occasion, my mom's 80th birthday. The place we picked was an absolute home run, a grand slam in every way and she loved it. (perhaps one gauge of how much the other half enjoyed it was not minding paying the bill, ha ha). It was up there in price but exceptional in service and dining experience and that's all that mattered.

Choosing Local for Father's Day: 11 Cool Ways To Spend Time with Dad

Pssst. Dad doesn't want something boring from Awful-Mart or the mall. Why not plan to do something interesting, cool, fun and LOCAL this weekend? Here are some suggestions!

#1), take your pop to a nearby indie pub or even better, visit a local brewery this weekend and enjoy a tour of the facility.

#2), If you really, deep down in your heart believe that dad WANTS a tie, at least go for something cool and unique and from an independently-owned business. (maybe something fun like a tie with yellow ducks on it....or ice cream cones)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

"What It's Like" | the Reality of Closing a Beloved Small Business

Maybe you weren't following my blog or page a year or two ago, or perhaps you saw the posts and it just didn't occur to you to read them. Or maybe actually following the journey of a small business owner as he said goodbye just didn't appear to be something significant. This time however, it was. Better than almost anyone who had put into words what it's like, Mr. Carlo offered all of us not only the chance to say farewell but the opportunity to glimpse the process of closing. It was painful but poignant and more than anything it showed such a love of customers and community that few people can understand.

Perhaps you would have to have been a small business owner yourself to really "get it", but for those folks who believe that a locally owned shop is just a building or a storefront or a hobby, it painted a picture of the incredible connections that people form with one another. And while being a shop owner is a privilege and an honor, it's also like cutting off a piece of yourself should it ever end. In October of 2014 they announced their closing.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Ten Great Ways to Support Local Businesses this Weekend

Ten ways you can support independent businesses this weekend:

1, stock up on groceries at your local supermarket,

2, pick a new local attraction for family fun such as mini golf, batting cages, paddle boat, kayak or bicycle rentals,

3, make a stop at the corner bakery for pies and donuts,

Friday, May 6, 2016

Choose to Spend Local This Mother's Day (support independent businesses)

Don't give the same thing as everyone else. Many chain and big box stores all carry very similar items found from coast to coast. But the real deal, the unique things, now THOSE are often found in the smaller, local shops around the community. Take a few minutes to make sure you can plan something special.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Small Business Week | May 1-7, 2016

Celebrated during May 1st through the 7th, National Small Business 2016 will be the 53rd observance of this event. Find resources and free downloadable materials at

"Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories." See more at the SBA social media guide here.

For me, being a small business owner is so much more than "just" a job or position. It's something which cannot be purchased because while the acquiring of a retail shop or restaurant does involve changing of ownership and funds, you can't buy that character; years of connections and sense of community. You can't fake it if you don't genuinely care about what you do because people will see right through you. And it's often not something one does in an effort to get rich quick or build up enormous wealth rapidly; while that is undoubtedly a benefit and goal, it's not always the most important aspect of being the proprietor or owner.

What it's like to be a small business owner?

• It's that familiar sensation which sweeps over you during the night, as an idea comes to you and you feel that excitement about a new direction or possible dream;

• It's what makes you turn on the light and reach for a pen to jot down your vision of things to come;

• It's being able to reassure a loyal customer that they are in good hands and that you have their best interest at heart;

• It's that excitement you feel upon waking up, ready to get moving early and head into work to launch your day because you can't wait to share it with the world;

• It's a feeling of grateful happiness as you see your loyal customers stream into your shop because you offer them the best possible selection and service;

•It's the smiles of favorite customers as they find what they need with you, that you can provide a service, item or something that serves a special niche;

• It's knowing that you are a part of something more than just profit, larger than your storefront with roots deeper than most people will ever dream of.

"Responsible for creating nearly two-thirds of net new jobs in the United States each year and employing more than half of all Americans, small businesses have always been a vital part of our country's economy.

As outlets for creativity and ingenuity, small businesses do more than create jobs and foster growth -- they represent the spirit that has always driven our Nation forward. Throughout National Small Business Week, we celebrate the irreplaceable role these enterprises play in our national life by pledging to support them and equip them with the tools and resources they need to succeed."

Live Local USA | "the voice of small business"

Why use an Independent Florist? Support local instead!

Why buy from a local florist?

You can order directly with the people who will make and deliver something special. Recently when I ordered a gift, I was able to chat with a friendly person who helped me figure out what I wanted.....not just some random 800# clerk. And, I helped a local business.

A 1-800-FLOWER place doesn't care about your best friend; your mom or your wife. But an independent florist may remember which arrangement you sent before...what color your aunt loves...and they are the people you actually speak to on the phone.

Why reroute your order through a call center? when locally-owned shops are right in your area! Here are two sites to help you locate a real flower artist:

This graphic and article was posted by Fairfield Flowers, a family-owned and operated full service Eugene, Oregon florist. They specialize in "quality flowers and personal service to both our customers and their recipients for more than 20 years". Read these notes about why choosing a locally owned florist is important.

Visit Fairfield Flowers at Make sure to check out this article as well for the scoop on wire services and "The Art of the Middleman"!

From Dover, Delaware, Jen-Mor florist offered this advice on why you may want to spend a few extra minutes to make the better choice. Their shop has been serving the community since 1971!

Visit them online at and on Facebook.

This gem was seen floating around Facebook recently. Ugh. Would you really want to take a chance??

"How do you want your flowers to show up at a funeral home? I'm sure this box has embarrassed many people. I've asked a few funeral directors how they handle this when it arrives. Most said they leave it in a back room and give to the family later. I had one tell me he puts it in the viewing room as is because he is not a floral designer. Call a real, local florist."

Live Local USA | A voice for Small Business.
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