Page 1

SUNDAY, JULY 30, 2017

FIRST SHOP THE CEDAR VALLEY


AND BUY LOCAL FIRST 15 ‌P 2 | Sunday, July 30, 2017

LOCAL FIRST

TO SHOP

atronizing locally owned, independent businesses benefits our community. Consider these reasons to buy local, think local and be local!

lar chain restaurants, grocery and department store, but that diner down the street where you have breakfast every Saturday morning is one-of-a-kind. By

1.

Local character and prosperity‌

In an increasingly homogenized world, communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character have an economic advantage. Local businesses give a community its flavor. Entrepreneur Magazine notes that “towns across America have simi-

supporting those businesses instead of chains, you ensure that uniqueness is preserved as part of your community.”

2.

Community well-being‌

sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationLocally-owned businesses ships, and contributing to local build strong communities by causes.

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LOCAL FIRST

People don’t like losing local shops and services, but often don’t equate it to how they spend their money. Local shops are easy to get to, especially for the elderly and younger generations and those without transportation.

3.

vices like police, fire, roads and schools.

8.

Environmental sustainability‌

10.

Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.

4.

Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community and strengthening the community’s economic base.

5.

Job and wages‌

Locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than chains do. About half of all private sector workers are employed in small businesses, according to the Bureau of Labor. Choosing a locally owned store for your shopping needs generates almost four times as much economic benefit for the surrounding region compared to shopping at a chain, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.

Local stores help to sustain vibrant town centers, which Product in turn are essential to diversity‌ reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss and air and A multitude of small busiwater pollution. nesses, each selecting products

Local decisionmaking‌

Keeping dollars in the local economy‌

9.

Competition‌

SHUTTERSTOCK PHOTO‌

Consider this ... According to Iowa State University Extention data: „„ 46 percent want to see and touch a product before buying it.

Buyers want to come into your store/place of business. They will likely compare products and buy while they’re standing in your store, according to MIT research. „„ 42 percent want to check in store availability online – then go to the store so they don’t waste a trip. Buyers want to see your business and the product online and available for local purchase. „„ 37 percent want to be able to return products to a physical store. „„ 23 percent don’t want to wait for delivery. Why wait a couple of days when we can have it in a couple of hours?

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6.

Entrepreneurship‌

Entrepreneurship fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity, and serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.

7.

Put your taxes to good use‌

Local businesses are owned by your neighbors and friends, and the wages they pay to employees are spent in the Cedar Valley for housing, food and fuel, for example. They pay taxes that provide necessary public ser-

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LOCAL FIRST

based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

11.

Small business is BIG!

Get better service‌

Small businesses stay in business because they provide the service and attention that consumers require.

12.

More products, affordable prices‌

SHUTTERSTOCK PHOTO‌

Local shops sell a wide range of great products at affordable prices. Many people are surprised at the range of products and gifts available.

home right then! If you add and are more invested in the travel and fees to ship or trans- community’s future. fer items, the overall cost can be higher. Quality of life Spending local helps Shopping saves Invest in to raise property values and reduce the number of empty store time and money‌ community‌ fronts. Lively, vibrant neighPatronizing a local businesses Local businesses are owned by borhood shopping streets are means instant gratification — people who live in the commu- considered an advantage when you can take your purchases nity and are less likely to leave selling a home.

13.

Furthermore, the small business sector is growing rapidly. While corporate America has been “downsizing”, the rate of small Small businesses provide 55 business “start-ups” has grown, percent of all jobs and 66 and the rate for small business percent of all net new jobs since failures has declined. the 1970s. The number of small businesses The 600,000 plus franchised in the United States has small businesses in the U.S. increased 49 percent since account for 40 percent of all 1982. retail sales and provide jobs for Since 1990, as big business some 8 million people. eliminated 4 million jobs, small The small business sector in businesses added 8 million new America occupies 30-50 percent jobs. of all commercial space, an Source: Small Business Administration estimated 20-34 billion square feet. The 28 million small businesses in America account for 54 percent of all U.S. sales.

14.

15.

The American Independent Business Alliance points out that local owners typically have invested much of their life saving in their businesses and have a natural interest in their community’s long-term

health. Local businesses are essential to a community’s charitable endeavors, sponsoring events and underwriting activities like fundraisers and sports teams, for example, and serving on local boards.

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LOCAL FIRST

FOSTERS MATTRESS and her sister returned home to help their mother save her classroom at Irving Elementary. Foster eventually joined her and, when random people began showing up

AMBER ROTTINGHAUS

amber.rottinghaus@wcfcourier.com‌

‌CEDAR FALLS – The Midwest journey for Charles Foster, owner of Fosters Mattress, began seven years ago after Foster and his wife moved to the Cedar Valley from Phoenix, Arizona. After managing mattress stores in Phoenix, Foster decided to open his own location at 3840 University Ave. and bases his business decisions on nearly 20 years of experience. “Our goal was to make a better mattress buying experience. We wanted customers to get the product for them,” Foster said. “There are a lot of people with sleep problems, and if you don’t sleep you aren’t happy and your brain doesn’t function.” For this very reason, Fosters only sells high quality products, like those produced by Serta, rather than providing various brands —regardless of their quality — as was done in Phoenix. Contrary to popular belief, moving to the Midwest and a smaller community provided more opportunities for Foster and his business. It allowed him to make genuine, local connections that enhance his business and its quality. Fosters relies on various other businesses in the area, including Cedar Valley Utilities for advertising and even has a contract with Cedar Valley Movers for safely and efficiently transporting their mattresses. Though a small business, Fosters Mattresses truly values their customers and strives to provide the best service. While it only has one full-time and part-time employee, the company makes a huge impact on its customers. Doug Rowan is the solo fulltime employee and came to work for the company after Foster helped him finally find relief for his sleep problems. Rowan said he left his previous job in New Hampton, where he currently resides, with the newspaper’s

Sunday, July 30, 2017 | 5

at the school to help in any way they could, “that was the moment in which we decided that that’s the place we wanted to be,” Foster said.

AMBER ROTTINGHAUS, AMBER.ROTTINGHAUS@WCFCOURIER.COM‌

sales department to come help at Fosters Mattress. While the company is based on experiences had with larger corporations, Foster strongly enforces the importance of being a local business and supporting the community. “Local means a lot to a lot of people. If you buy something from Wal-mart, maybe 10 percent of that purchase stays in the community whereas if you buy from a local store 65 percent

of the purchase stays. It makes a big difference and affects everyone’s business,” Foster said. Thankfully, he moved to a community that’s always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need. Foster and his wife Sarah always knew they didn’t want to raise a family in Phoenix and, only after having an eye-opening experience, did they decide to move to the Cedar Valley, where his wife grew up. After the 2008 flood, Sarah

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LOCAL FIRST

people went out to shop at small businesses, according to American Express. But is it working? Supporters and coordinators offer a resounding “Yes!” and point to the following numbers. Here are statistics from the Small Business Administration:

Small Business Stats from Other Sources

„„ If you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays in your local economy. If you spend the same are a large business, only $43 stays in the local economy (Source: Civic Economics Study in Grand Rapids, Mich.). One survey shows 93 percent of Americans believe in supporting small businesses, and 71 percent of shoppers are aware of the holiday. American Express says it’s worth noting that even if consumers don’t spend on the actual Saturday, the publicity of Small Business Saturday has given heightened awareness to consumers. They’re likely to increase spend at small businesses on other days.

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Small Business Saturday ‌ continues to grow as a national movement, no small task when pitted against the “biggies’” — Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year’s “Shop Small” event is Nov. 25, the Saturday following Thanksgiving. American Express started Small Business Saturday in 2010 and rewards consumers who use their American Express cards on the holiday. But is it working? Supporters and coordinators offer a resounding “Yes!” and point to the following numbers. Every state in the union and the District of Columbia champions Small Business Saturday. In 2016, consumers spent $15.4 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday, according to the 2016 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey commissioned by Amex and NFIB. Approximately 95 million

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LOCAL FIRST

Food truck META HEMENWAY-FORBES,

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‌CEDAR FALLS — As a business management major at Wartburg College, Krystal Graves assumed she would end up in an office. “I thought I wanted an office job because I’d been in the food industry my entire life. I was kind of like ‘get me outta here,’” she said, laughing. But an entrepreneurship class her junior year, in which she developed a business plan for a food truck, was the catalyst for a shift in plans. Graves graduated in 2016 and is now the proud owner of Kubo, a food truck that serves up Filipino American cuisine to hungry lunch crowds several days a week at various locations around the Cedar Valley. Food is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., or until it runs out. Kubo’s home base is in front of Hansen’s Dairy on 18th Street in Cedar Falls, but Graves also occasionally sets up in the VGM parking lot on San Marnan Drive in Waterloo, Martin Brothers Food Market on Viking Road in Cedar Falls and other locations. Hungry fans can find out where the food truck will be and the menu of the day with the hashtag #whereskubo on various social media platforms. Graves dishes up chicken adobo, beef kaldereta (stew with vegetables), pancit (a rice noodle dish with vegetables) and other traditional Filipino fare. The closely guarded recipes come courtesy of Graves’ mother, Madelyn Graves, a native of the Philippines. “I told her there are two or three secret ingredients that I won’t tell anybody. Not even my sister knows my secret recipe,” Madelyn Graves said. “Every region in the Philippines has their own way of cooking foods. We take pride in our cooking.” Madelyn Graves, who owns Gravy’s Diner in Waterloo and is the former owner of the Waf-

Wartburg grad finds her roots, and calling, with Kubo food truck hard-working girl.” Krystal Graves is pleased with the success of Kubo so far. She serves hundreds of customers every week and is working on growing her offerings and lo-

cations. “I think I’m really lucky to live in a town with a lot of locally minded people, businesses who are willing to share their parking lot with me.”

MATTHEW PUTNEY PHOTOS, COURIER PHOTO EDITOR

Kubo food truck owner Krystal Graves puts sauce on a fish taco for a lunchtime customer. fle Stop in Cedar Falls, helps her daughter prep Kubo’s food off site. “I help her, showing her how to do stuff, slicing and dicing and marinating. I say, ‘listen what I say to you, watch how I do.’ We line up the spices, we mix it in and taste. That’s how I

know it’s good.” Madelyn Graves is proud of her daughter’s business efforts — and the nod to her origins. “I am so proud that she took an interest in representing my culture and my heritage through the food truck. That’s where her heart is. She is just such a

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LOCAL FIRST

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Sunday, July 30, 2017 | 9

LOCAL FIRST

Now Hiring Start your local search today at CedarValleyJobs.Com of Northeast Iowa, Inc. Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa is experiencing tremendous growth. As a result, we are seeking dedicated and caring individuals to join our team. If you have a passion for helping others or are just looking for a new and rewarding job, we want to hear from you!

merchandise, and keeping the store neat and clean. Sales Associates will be expected to work scheduled hours, including store meetings. Cashier experience is helpful, but not required. All Sales Associates must have their own transportation, and be available to work evenings, weekends, and some holidays.

Community Trainers

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The primary responsibility of our Community Trainers is to provide residential and/or vocational training and services to persons with disabilities or disadvantages. Requirements for this position include: A high school diploma or equivalent preferred. Must have ability to work flexible hours, including evenings, weekends, overnights, and holidays. All Community Trainer positions require a reliable vehicle to transport clients, a valid driver’s license, a good driving record, and current auto insurance. Working as a Community Trainer for Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa provides invaluable work experience for students majoring in corrections, special education, elementary education, social work, family services, psychology, sociology, therapeutic recreation and health services field.

The Assistant Store Manager position will be located in the Cedar Valley and responsibilities include, but are not limited to: direct supervision of hourly Team Members, evaluating Team Member performance and taking corrective action when necessary, and covering all areas in the Store Manager’s absence. A high school diploma or equivalent is required, or a minimum of 1 year military service or related full-time employment. Supervisory experience is preferred.

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Pre-employment background check and drug test required for all Team Members. To apply, please stop by any of the following locations: Goodwill Employment Cedar Falls Store & Training Center 4318 University Ave 2640 Falls Avenue Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613 Waterloo, Iowa 50701 319-277-0040 319-234-4626

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10 | Sunday, July 30, 2017

Magee Construction

LOCAL FIRST

WORKS TO KEEP MONEY IN COMMUNITY preference between the small and large projects. “We’re here to do it all, whatever it takes to keep going.” Magee construction features

AMBER ROTTINGHAUS

amber.rottinghaus@wcfcourier.com‌

‌CEDAR FALLS – After being in business for over 30 years, Magee Construction is no stranger to the Cedar Valley and its fellow local businesses. That’s why owner Wayne Magee makes it a top priority to work with other businesses in the area and keep their dollars in the community. Located at 1705 Waterloo Road, Magee Construction maintains close relationships with local lumber yards, electricians and even the big box stores. “We work very hard to try to work with local businesses as much as we can. It’s just something that I think any responsible local business person does and should do,” Magee said. Magee is not Magee only a “lifelong Iowa resident” from Dunkerton, but he is also a fourth-generation Magee contractor as his great grandfather, grandfather and father were all builders. “I always enjoyed working with my hands. I’d tear apart whatever I could, sometimes putting it back together, sometimes not,” Magee said. He momentarily left the family trade to work at John Deere as a mechanic but, after being laid off in 1982, Magee did various odd jobs that eventually evolved into starting following the family roots and starting his own construction company. “My initial goal when I started was just to make enough money to eat, literally, because in the 80’s there wasn’t any work. If you were even bidding on an addition, that was a big deal let alone getting the work. The economy was that bad,” Magee recalled. Now, he said the goal is simply to be “the best service provider we can possibly be doing type of

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Deb Waterman, a project manager at Magee Construction, works on some blueprints in her office. work that we do,” which ranges between residential, commercial and industrial jobs. Magee Construction has grown to include around 50 general employees, but this can grow to 70 or 80 depending on the size of the current projects and sometimes borrowing ironworkers from Iron Workers 89 Local in Des Moines.

The contractor company has completed several large projects including rebuilding the Cedar Rapids based Weyerhaeuser Company’s Waterloo location in 1996 after a fire destroyed the building during the previous year. It has also done a few major industrial projects for John Deere, but Magee said he does not have a

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Sunday, July 30, 2017 | 11

Cedar Valley Medical Specialists

AMBER ROTTINGHAUS

amber.rottinghaus@wcfcourier.com‌

‌WATERLOO – Cedar Valley Medical Specialists has been providing some of the best medical care since 1995 and, while it has locations in other communities, the Cedar Valley will always hold a special place in its heart. CVMS began during a time when many physicians were in independent practice, but a national health care plan was in the making under former U.S. President Bill Clinton. By this time, hospitals across the country were already taking over primary care practices and family medicine. Meanwhile, 21 specialists in Waterloo wanted to avoid this epidemic and began to form a physician-owned and -controlled clinic that was 100 percent local. CVMS was born to create jobs for nearly 100 employees. “One of the flaws with having a national health care system is that the care delivery varies from region to region based upon the predominant diseases that are prevalent in those communities,” said Gil Irey, chief executive officer. “Our practice is 100 percent based upon what our physicians feel the patients in this community need.” The company, whose administration office is at 4150 Kimball Ave., now has 95 providers and around 500 employees with clinics providing 19 specialties in the metro area as well as Independence, Oelwein, Waverly and Grundy Center. The company also utilizes local companies like Farmers State Bank, NuCara Pharmacy, Cedar Valley Hospice and PCDM Insurance. Another service the medical clinic provides for the community is bringing some of the best physicians to Iowa and the Cedar Valley. CVSM’s physicians

AMBER ROTTINGHAUS, AMBER.ROTTINGHAUS@WCFCOURIER.COM‌

come from training programs within large medical centers all over the United States. Those include Harvard, Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins and the University of Iowa. “The only thing that will never change in medicine is the patient-physician relationship,

and that’s what these physicians studying the effects of differwanted to truly preserve,” Irey ent interventions and health said. records. “About 45 percent of the “It’s a great opportunity for physicians have gone to work for larger health care systems that are located outside of the area and are in multiple states, so the true local control and decision-making in those organizations doesn’t exist the way it does in our organization.” CVMS also assists in training some of these physicians by offering internship opportunities for those who have connections within the company or simply wants to gain hands-on experience in the medical world. This includes Vineel Mallavarapu, whose father is a physician and partner for CVMS. He will be returning to Johns Hopkins University in Maryland for his sophomore year this fall. During his time as an intern, Mallavarapu said he has been busy helping with research and

us to have him doing it, but also for him to be able to see the real-world side stuff they don’t teach in school,” Irey said.

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LOCAL FIRST

5 ways businesses are creating opportunities (BPT)—Today’s business environment is characterized by excitement as much as it is by anxiety. As new technologies are constantly introduced into the workplace and transform how employees work, managers need to adjust in order to retain employees, streamline processes and stay competitive. “Companies of all sizes are looking for solutions that allow them to work and collaborate seamlessly from anywhere, transforming their businesses to be more efficient and mobile,” says Nate Spilker, vice president of product management at Citrix. Many see such rapid change as particularly challenging for small to mid-sized businesses, where limits of capital, personnel and other resources may prevent them from being able to fully adapt to changes and implement fixes. In fact, the opposite may be true. Because small to mid-sized businesses have less red tape to get through, they may be in a better position to become early adopters and outpace the competition. With an entrepreneurial spirit, they can turn these challenges into opportunities for growth. Here are five way they are doing just that: 1. Growing IT budget. For all the promises that come with new software and hardware, there’s also a price tag. Beyond implementing new technology, businesses need to grow their IT staff to ensure everything functions as it should. To combat these costs, many have adopted a bring your own device (BYOD) policy in which employees use their personal computer, laptop or tablet to work. According to Forbes, this policy can save companies as much as $3,150 per employee per year. The key to a successful BYOD policy is software that provides rigid security measures and allows individuals to access shared files and work with one another, whether on a Mac, Windows or other operating system. 2. Keeping ahead of administrative tasks. When Hope Blankenship’s business To the

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LOCAL FIRST

is open to entrepreneuers new-product photography as tool for marketing new products. Open shop hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Individuals can stop any time during open shop hours for a tour. New member orientations

PAT KINNEY

pat.kinney@wcfcourier.com‌

‌WATERLOO — The Cedar Valley Makers are setting up shop in a big way on a floor of the Cedar Valley TechWorks near downtown Waterloo. Armed with a couple of goodsized grants and a boatload of goodwill donations, the nonprofit group has accumulated an eclectic array of production equipment, ranging from a laser cutter to welders to metal lathes. They’ve fitted out their “maker space” on a floor of a former John Deere production building, the “Tech 1” building at 360 Westfield Ave., for inventors, entrepreneurs, industrialists and crafters. They range in age from people in their early 20s to retirees. They’ve spent the past few months “fixing a couple of the kinks,” said Danny Laudick, one of the original “makers” and talent development coordinator for the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber. Cedar Valley Makers Inc., created about 1 1/2 years ago, is pulling together a metal shop, wood shop, electronics lab and 3D printers on about 5,000 square feet of space on the third floor of the Cedar Valley TechWorks building. They secured a $20,000 matching grant from the McElroy Trust and an account through the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. In August, the organization also received a $50,000 grant from the Black Hawk County Gaming Association to purchase equipment for the maker space. The equipment is open to use by artisans, crafters, inventors and manufacturers who would pay a monthly fee. The “maker space” — a concept happening in other locations around the country — would be open to all ages and skill levels, and it’s hoped the cooperative atmosphere would generate a synergy of creative minds that could lead, potentially, to new products, new companies and new jobs for the area.

are currently held every Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. More information is available online at cedarvalleymakers.org, on the organization’s Facebook page, emailing CedarValleyMakers@gmail.com or by calling 427-2030.

COURIER FILE PHOTO‌

Danny Laudick is shown alongside a piece of fabrication equipment at the Cedar Valley Makers Space. The monthly membership is $25 a month for individuals during a start-up “beta” period. The Makers also have talked with local smaller manufacturers about donating scrap materials and other items to work with. Long term, they would like to have a working relationship with major manufacturers such as Deere. The Makers also are hoping to get multiple generations in-

volved. “One guy brought his dad in with him, a retiree. He became a member, too,” Laudick said. They’re also talking with local retirement communities about involving residents with manufacturing or crafting skills in the maker space. “There’s a world of opportunities,” Laudick said, including putting on product-development workshops utilizing members with skills in that area, or

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LOCAL FIRST

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cations and not get bogged down by administrative work. 3. Customer security and confidentiality. Despite living in a digital age, many small and medium-sized businesses still rely on printed materials and faxes when working with clients. In fact, 72 percent of business agree that improved document processing would improve customer relations and increase their brand value. “Business leaders recognize the need to embrace a modern, digital workplace to drive greater efficiency in business processes. This means taking a close look at their document and information management workflows and embracing technologies to take the friction out of these processes while keeping data secure,” says Terri McClure, senior analyst, Cloud Infrastructure and File Sharing, ESG. “By using ShareFile’s collaborative workflow and security features, custom-

ers and their clients benefit from more streamlined and structured processes, less time to complete projects, deliver results and increase customer satisfaction, all while complying with stringent security requirements.” 4. Generational differences. It has often been said that there has never been a greater gap between generations than there is with millennials and older generations. Smart businesses use these differences to create a dynamic and diverse workplace. This is done through traditional mentoring programs in which older employees train younger ones on professional development, career advancement and numerous other soft and hard skills while the younger group can teach older workers how to efficiently use new technologies. 5. Lack of space. One of the biggest problems a growing business faces is in finding the space for an expanding staff, either in their home offices or in remote locations. By incorporating remote file sharing and workflow

technology into their business data through leading industrial business technology solutions, plan, physical space has become security standards. visit www.sharefile.com. less of an issue. This technology Source: Brandpoint To learn more about small streamlines the workflow and allows people to collaborate from virtually anywhere in the world and in the process, saves on the cost of rent. The driving force behind many of these solutions involves a cutting-edge file synch-and-sharing system, like Citrix ShareFile. “Citrix is continuing to drive innovation in ShareFile beyond file sharing and storage to address the workflow needs of the modern worker. Now with a simpler user interface and use-casespecific solutions, ShareFile is helping its customers to increase productivity and collaboration,” Spilker says. With more than 80,000 busiwww.AndersonCollision.com ness customers and 20 million AndersonCollision@cfu.net business users, Citrix has developed their systems to be easy to 516 Washington St. Cedar Falls, IA 50613 use and capable of handling all types of files, from sensitive legal briefs to 3D architectural designs. Combining user experience with security, ShareFile safeguards

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Sunday, July 30, 2017 | 15

LOCAL FIRST

AND EXPLORE LOCAL SHOPS

‌Step outside the big box and national retailers and explore the unique local businesses in your own community. Shopping local is a great way to support your community — your friends and neighbors, whether its hitting the downtown boutiques and gift shops or grabbing a Danish, tea or coffee at the local coffee or tea shop.

American Express in 2010, Small rative on Christmas shopping. Business Saturday has rapidly This year’s Small Business become part of the national nar- Saturday is Nov. 25.

Know your chamber ‌

Most communities — even small and mid-size cities — have a Chamber of Commerce. Take advantage of them. A good Chamber of Commerce should be at the heart of the local business climate in your community, and many publish directories and brochures designed to spotlight the local businesses in your area. Drop by one day when you’re in town, or just pull up a business directory online. Flip through the categories and see just how many businesses you don’t recognize — but might want to check out.

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and strolling the streets to see what’s available. The best approach: Devote an afternoon to your own walking tour, paying attention to the businesses you probably drive by every day without a second thought. It’s amazing what you might find.

year-round options for gifts and home décor. From locally produced furniture and decorations to unique homemade crafts, local shops are churning out amazing products that make great gifts for friends and family members. The biggest push to shop local comes around Christmastime Find more options ‌‌ every year — on the last SaturSmall businesses offer great day of November. Launched by

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Keep eye on local news ‌‌

Many local papers also provide coverage of unique businesses, so keeping an eye on the happenings in your hometown is an excellent way to discover some new, local businesses. The Courier frequently focuses attention on new businesses, ranging from retail shops to restaurants and pizzerias. Social media also is an excellent tool for discovery. Everyone, it seems, has a Facebook page. Like or follow one local business and it stands to reason you’ll get recommendations to check out a few more. Also, see which businesses your friends follow.

Just start exploring‌‌

Though all those routes are a great way to get primed on your local shopping landscape, nothing beats just getting out

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16 | Sunday, July 30, 2017

LOCAL FIRST

BY SHOPPING IN COMMUNITY

‌Not only can shopping local help keep your community vibrant and ensure more varied shopping options for the future, but, it can also save you time. As an article in U.S. News and World Report notes, you must account for energy costs associated with shopping at major retail complexes or big box stores. Jeff Milchen, co-founder and outreach director at the American Independent Business Alliance, noted Americans have been “increasing our driving significantly over the past several decades, and it’s due almost entirely to shopping. Plus, time is money.” Consider the local options before heading out of town. Each community is different, but finding out what’s down the road can certainly help save you some time. From a corner hardware store to a boutique in downtown, local shopping options can often help fill the gap that could be pushing you to drive outside your community to shop. Perhaps the item you’re looking for at a big box store in another town could be found locally? Even if it costs a few dollars more, you’d almost certainly make up that difference in gas and time once it all evens out. Taking the time to learn a bit more about the business community in your own town can save you a lot of time in the future. You might be able to get most of your shopping done at a specific big box store in a neighboring city, but look into how much of that you could get done in your own hometown. Even if it involves a few extra stops, you could still cut down your driving time quite a bit. Plus, that money stays in your local community. Milchen also noted how local businesses tend to source and support other local businesses, meaning your patronage at one

town, consider the environment, the Lindner College of Business advises Charles Matthews, pro- Center for Entrepreneurship at fessor and executive director of the University of Cincinnati.

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typically goes a whole lot further than you might think. In the report, Milchen said he prefers to look at it this way: “Shopping at locally owned establishments can leverage community funds times three, on average. For example, by supporting a local clothing boutique, a consumer is also supporting a

local attorney, tax preparer and printer. Local businesses tend to source small manufacturing and banking needs closer to home, as well.” To be fair, big box stores do serve a purpose, and, yes, prices can be awfully tempting. But the next time you think about getting in your car to drive across

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