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. Also, try this resource for small business success.


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September 26th, 2011

We Mean Business!

IMG_9770Recently, the library was honored with a nomination for the Cecil County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Non-Profit Partner in Business award for developing a productive partnership with the business community.  Some readers might not know about the library’s relationship with the local business community, so here are some highlights:

- The CCPL Small Business Information Center (SBIC) helps Cecil County entrepreneurs start or grow their small business.  The SBIC provides free one-on-one consultations with the Small Business Librarian, helping aspiring and current business owners to develop business concepts, financial strategies and marketing opportunities.  Over the last two years, the SBIC assisted over 2,000 people with small business information, providing the research necessary to start businesses and keep them afloat through these difficult economic times.

- CCPL offers lots of resources for job seekers, career changers, and business people.  We serve this community with everything from free access to computers to one-on-one assistance with job searches and resumes, not to mention the Resume Review service, computer classes, tons of small business information, and public access to Wifi.  Over the last two years, CCPL provided job consultation and services to over 3,000 Cecil Countians.

- CCPL also partnered with the business community and local schools to better serve students.  In addition to working with CCPS and the local business community to provide the annual Summer Reading program, CCPL developed an innovative outreach program called My Special Book. This program works to get books to children who live in lower income communities with limited access to transportation. With the help of PNC and BB&T Banks, CCPL is developing new ways to get books permanently into the hands and homes of Cecil County kids.

We’re very proud to serve Cecil County’s business community and are in excellent company; the following non-profit organizations were also nominated in this award category: Cecil County Arts Council, Cecil County Office of Economic Development, Cecilton Lions Club and Charities, the Chesapeake City Ecumenical Association, Susquehanna Workforce Network, Inc., and the YMCA.

The winner of the Non-Profit Partner in Business award will be announced this Friday, September 30th at the Chamber’s annual gala.  Congrats to all of the nominees!


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