November 24th, 2014

Small Business Saturday

2014_SBSI am very excited to introduce our first guest blogger, Patti Paulus.  My position as the small business librarian started almost six years ago, and I have had the pleasure of knowing Patti as a client and friend for the past five years.  I am so proud that the idea of an artist co-op from five years ago launched into such a successful business, The Palette & The Page.  She has positively contributed so much to the downtown revitalization of Main Street in Elkton and the store makes shopping local a no-brainer!

By now you have probably heard about “Small Business Saturday” which is the Saturday after Black Friday, this year it’s November 29th.  For Small Businesses, it is a pretty big deal.  As one of the owners of a small business in downtown Elkton, it feels like a special celebration and recognition of us and all small businesses.  The point of the event is to purposefully go out and shop at small businesses on that day in particular.  Of course, all small business owners want you to remember them whenever you shop, eat, need a repair or some construction, need your hair done – I think you get the picture…

Many studies have been done about the impact small businesses have on a community.  According to the SBE Council, small businesses are incubators for innovation and employment growth and have accounted for 60% of the net new jobs created since the end of the recession, which began in about mid-2009.  According to the American Independent Business Alliance, “Multiple studies show locally-owned independent restaurants return twice as much per dollar of revenue to our local economy than chain restaurants. And independent retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales than chain competitors.”  Additionally, according to AMIBA, “Buying remotely on the web creates almost no local benefit-just a few minutes’ work for a delivery person.”

My small business, The Palette & The Page, a gallery owned by women in downtown Elkton, has been in existence for 5 years.  With much help from Cecil County Public Library’s Small Business Information Center (SBIC), we have grown to represent 30 local artists, 12 local authors and provide our community with a place to find truly unique items for themselves, their homes and their family and friends.

We’ve also been very instrumental in creating an active First Friday Art Loop in Downtown Elkton, providing opportunities to see new artwork, meet artists and authors, hear live music AND support small businesses- all throughout the Elkton Arts & Entertainment District.  Just this year we were chosen to receive the 2014 Small Business of the Year Award from the Elkton Chamber & Alliance.

On November 29th, for Small Business Saturday, we are joining forces with Small Busi-nesses everywhere, but especially those in our community.  We encourage you to “Shop Small” – support the places in your community that add value by helping to make the community strong, where people remember you, where you can be a part of giving back by spending your dollars  in a place where it will impact your community twice as much.  Additionally, your support will keep on giving as those businesses return their dollars to their community by investing in the community.  We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, November 29th!

If you are interested in starting your own small business, contact the Small Business Information Center at 410-996-5600 ext 128.  Click here for more information.


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November 17th, 2014

In the Mood

holiday lightsOne morning after dropping my kids off at school. I decided to go to the market to pick up something special to fix for dinner that evening, since it was a Friday and Friday is movie night.

As I got out of my car and began walking towards the market, the first thing I noticed were the pre-decorated Christmas wreathes outside the store.  As I went through the sliding doors it was no way to ignore the Christmas Holiday.  With the synchronized LED lights flickering along the aisles and a Santa display in the middle of the market, I realized that I hadn’t gotten into the holiday spirit yet. In years past it was always a song on the radio or the holiday lights in front of a house that got me in the mood. When I returned home I went into the basement and started rummaging through my Christmas decorations.  That’s when it hit me. Let me see what holiday music is on hoopla?  I pulled out my phone, touched my hoopla app, typed “Thanksgiving.”

I quickly downloaded “A Motown Thanksgiving Celebration”, “We Give Thanks: 15 Thanksgiving Hymns on Piano” and the perfectly titled “Music for Thanksgiving Dinner.” Now that Thanksgiving’s music was taken care of – I typed “Christmas music” and myriad of albums appeared on my screen.

The first album that caught my attention was “Christmastide” And “In The Spirit” by opera singer Jessye Norman. This 2CD set covers all of the holiday classics such as “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “Oh Emmanuel.” All of the songs are sung in an operatic style which really gives the listener the feeling they’re sitting in a grand theatre. Other notable albums I borrowed were “40 years: A Charlie Brown Christmas by David Benoit.” This jewel of a CD features a number of jazz artists doing their interpretations of this childhood favorite.  Notable stand outs are “Christmas Time Is Coming” and Brian McKnight singing the classic “Christmas Time Is Here”.  If you’re not in a traditional mood and want something different check out The Rippington’s “Curves Ahead.” It’s not holiday music per se but the sound of this CD will put you in a wintery bliss. If you want something jazzy for a Grown Up and Sexy holiday bash,  check out “Christmas Party – Holiday Piano Spiked With Swing” by Dave McKenna. The title alone says it all.

One morning after dropping my kids off at school. I decided to go to the market to pick up something special to fix for dinner that evening, since it was a Friday and Friday is movie night.

As I got out of my car and began walking towards the market, the first thing I noticed were the pre-decorated Christmas wreathes outside the store.  As I went through the sliding doors it was no way to ignore the Christmas Holiday.  With the synchronized LED lights flickering along the aisles and a Santa display in the middle of the market, I realized that I hadn’t gotten into the holiday spirit yet. In years past it was always a song on the radio or the holiday lights in front of a house that got me in the mood. When I returned home I went into the basement and started rummaging through my Christmas decorations.  That’s when it hit me. Let me see what holiday music is on hoopla? I pulled out my phone, touched my hoopla app, typed “Thanksgiving.”

I quickly downloaded “A Motown Thanksgiving Celebration,” “We Give Thanks: 15 Thanksgiving Hymns on Piano” and the perfectly titled “Music for Thanksgiving Dinner.” Now that Thanksgiving’s music was taken care of – I typed “Christmas music” and myriad of albums appeared on my screen.

The first album that caught my attention was “Christmastide” And “In The Spirit” by opera singer Jessye Norman. This 2CD set covers all of the holiday classics such as “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “Oh Emmanuel.” All of the songs are sung in an operatic style which really gives the listener the feeling they’re sitting in a grand theatre. Other notable albums I borrowed were “40 years: A Charlie Brown Christmas by David Benoit.” This jewel of a CD features a number of jazz artists doing their interpretations of this childhood favorite.  Notable stand outs are “Christmas Time Is Coming” and Brian Mckinght singing the classic “Christmas Time Is Here”.  If you’re not in a traditional mood and want something different check out The Rippington’s “Curves Ahead.” It’s not holiday music per se but the sound of this CD will put you in a wintery bliss. If you having something jazzy for a “for the Grown and Sexy holiday bash” check out “Christmas Party – Holiday Piano Spiked With Swing” by Dave McKenna. The title alone says it all.