Small Business Saturday Brings Economic Growth




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Since Small Business Saturday started,

U.S. customers have reported spending

an estimated total of $85 billion at

independent retailers and restaurants —

that's $85 billion over 8 days alone. (AmericanExpress.com)




The Small Business Saturday movement across America shines light on the heart of our growing cities - the small business owner. In 2017 it was reported that for every $100 spent at a small business, $68 of that revenue supported local economic activity; as opposed to only $48 when spent at large retailers. The growing number of small business owners present the promise of opportunity for our cities; but only if the public puts effort into supporting them.



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Local businesses are what make cities unique. They are also the source of economic empowerment for many families. Being able to have control over your finances, and the freedom to create a legacy of business activity for your family is a huge part of the ‘American Dream’. International business experts like Gary Vaynerchuk have been very vocal over the years about how building a thriving small business changed the trajectory of their lives. Vaynerchuk worked in his parents local store for years, and turned that experience into a phenomenal media giant. The success of the family’s small business was the foundation of his success as an international business expert.

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Want to support local businesses? Here are a couple of ways to get involved




Small changes in consumer purchasing behavior could have long lasting positive effects on their respective cities. Not only does it allow families to build financial success, but it also provides jobs for others, and reduces environmental waste by reducing the costs of transport and shipping. Even better, patronizing a small business gives you a chance to find unique goods that you won’t always find at big-box retailers.

For a list of small businesses in your area, visit the American Express Small Business Saturday page.

Does your family have a favorite local retailer? What are some of the benefits you’ve seen from shopping at small businesses?

Riding The Apple Train
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Today Apple unveiled their biggest change to the iPad since its debut. The new iPad is purported to be sleeker, lighter, and much more eco-friendly. It’s made out of 100% recycled aluminum and can even charge your iPhone while in use.The downside? It’s the most expensive iPad to replace.

With all of the bells and whistles, and the ability to use iPhone features such as FaceTime, the new iPad is definitely a technological gem. But with that also comes a hefty price tag that most Apple customers will probably still pay. Why? Brand loyalty. EXTREME brand loyalty. Apple has taken the simplicity of picking a cell phone and turned it into a sub-culture of loyal supporters. One does not simply use Apple products. You become an Apple user. It’s the biggest digital divide in modern history, with iPhone and Android users arguing over which devices have the best features.

The thing that Apple has done to separate itself from the Android market is to create a culture of exclusivity. Every single thing that you do on an iPhone has to be done within its suite of services. Every app that you download comes from the online Apple store, your music comes from iTunes, and if you have an issue with your device you go to the Apple store. With an Android you have Samsung, HTC, and countless others who share an operating system but don’t give you that feeling of exclusivity. There is no internal culture associated with owning an HTC, and device users don’t necessarily use any other HTC products.

The closest comparison to the Apple subculture is the growth of Google products. Google has put more effort into marketing its Google Pixel phone, and just recently introduced companion products like the Pixel tablet to create that same type of brand loyalty that Apple has with its customers. With Google already dominating applications such as Gmail and Google Drive, there just may be a chance for the takeover by ‘Googlers’.

Does your business suffer from a lack of brand loyalty? What are some ways that you can create a loyal subculture for your audience?

Instagram Users Question Future of Leadership
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Nothing in the business world happens abruptly. It just seems abrupt to the general public. This week Instagram Executives resigned, leaving Instagram’s leadership up in the air. But according to inside sources, the shift didn’t happen overnight. Since purchasing Instagram in 2012 Zuckerberg and his team at Facebook initiated a host of changes on the social media platform; including embedded connections to user’s Facebook pages, notifications from Facebook, and the addition of Facebook’s executives assuming key roles at Instagram’s headquarters.

Users of the media sharing platform have also complained about changes in the algorithm, unwanted notifications, and saying that they have felt “forced” into using Facebook and sharing on their platform. So what’s next for the social media platforms? Users worry that Instagram will automatically adopt unwanted changes brought upon by the team at Facebook. Check out more of the Instagram debate as reported by TheVerge.com