Let's talk about Small Business Saturday! The Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the national campaign that American Express is advertising. We have partnered because our community is built on small business. All but a handful fit into the small business category. We appreciate having national recognition of the impact these businesses make to our communities, schools, economy, and fabric of our success and vitality. We also appreciate the strong message to support our small businesses, not just on Small Business Saturday.
Technology in today's world has made it extremely easy to bypass the local business for cheaper deals delivered right to your doors. The internet allows you to be your own lawyer, purchase insurance, invest, bank, and shop without ever leaving your couch. Yet, local businesses are putting people to work, paying taxes that support city infrastructure and schools, and they give generously when asked for support. Their existence relies on their customers and clients. And the customers and clients benefit far more from the relationships that are built. It keeps us all connected to the greater community.
Keep our community strong by supporting those who live, work and play here too. Make the local choice your first choice this Small Business Saturday and every day!
This guest blog post is written by Nikki Brevig, Director of the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce. It was orignially written for the Decorah Chamber Friday Focus (Nov. 2013), and is reposted with permission.
Halloween is just around the corner, which means that in less than a week the holiday season will officially begin. With these beautiful crisp fall days I'd rather think about pumpkin patches and apple orchards than about December and the snow flying, but many shoppers have already begun their gift-hunting for their loved ones. In light of our current economic situations, many of us want to make mindful shopping choices and still get awesome gifts. Last year I challenged myself to do all my holiday shopping locally. I like shopping. I'm good at shopping, but I admit, I don't do a great job of planning my shopping ahead. That means every year, a few days before Christmas I would find myself wandering through crowded malls with other non-planners, getting crabby in full parking lots and waiting for something to jump out at me.
Last year I changed my game. I took several evenings and shopped our local retailers. Instead of cramming my shopping into one harrowing day and hours of driving, I spent several enjoyable days spread out over a few weeks (special holiday open houses and late night shopping hours on Thursdays made this super easy) looking for something great that people would actually love. This also meant that there was plenty of time to wrap gifts in re-purposed paper or let the stores do the gift wrapping instead of cramming them into gift bags.
For an entire week before Christmas, all my beautifully wrapped gifts stood under the tree (a first, as my gifts never made it under the tree on time) and when gift-opening day arrived, I was thrilled to see the genuine excitement and appreciation on everyone's faces, and their surprise at my "where did you find this?!" answers.
So while you're thinking about buying your Trick-or-Treat candy, think ahead a month or two. I challenge all of you to do at least half (if not more!) of your holiday shopping locally. I can guarantee you will be surprised at how easy and rewarding it actually is to keep money local. And if you really run out of ideas, there are always Chamber Dollars to do the work for you!
Plan Ahead and Plan Locally, a guest column brought to you by Emily Kurash, a Dragonfly Books regular. This was written for the Decorah Chamber Friday Focus (Oct. 2011), and is reposted with permission.
Join us with author and illustrator Warren Hanson and his book The Steeple on Sunday, December 8 at 2:00 - 3:30 pm.
Hanson's photograph of Decorah's First Lutheran Church graces the cover of The Steeple. Other local churches included in the book are Glenwood Lutheran (Decorah), First United Methodist (Decorah), and Notre Dame Catholic (Cresco).
A long time writer and illustrator, Hanson is known for his illustrations in the bestselling holiday classics A Cup of Christmas Tea and PEEF The Christmas Bear. As an author, Hanson’s books feature parenting, love, aging, and grief where his thoughtful observations on life are shared with honesty and wisdom.
In The Steeple, Hanson delivers a simple but profound message. Featuring 26 photographs of churches across the country, including 3 Decorah area churches (First Lutheran Church, Decorah, IA; Notre Dame Catholic Church, Cresco, IA; and Glenwood Lutheran Church, Decorah, IA), The Steeple reminds us that we all have something inside that guides and inspires us, that helps us to know right from wrong, and that leads us when we have lost our way. With this short yet powerful book, author and photographer, Warren Hanson shows us that no matter how complicated our lives may get, we will always have a steeple as our guide.
Hanson grew up in Yankton, South Dakota. He earned his theater degree at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and pursued his art education at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul. Hanson is the author of several books including What Really Matters, The Next Place, Older Love, Raising You Alone, and Kiki’s Hats. He now lives in Houston, Texas with his wife Becky.
Don’t miss this opportunity to meet Warren Hanson and get your book signed at Dragonfly Books on Sunday, December 8 at 2:00 - 3:30 pm.
Midwest Connections promotes books of Midwest regional interest or authors who live in our region. Midwest Connections gathers the best of publishers’ frontlist books that have a connection to the Midwest, and include adult fiction and non-fiction (particularly memoirs, history, or current affairs); cookbooks; and children's books.
So, did you get a gift card for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Borders for Christmas, or for your last birthday? We understand that your family and friends might not know of your preference to shop local and independent here at Dragonfly Books, so we’ve got a solution for you. Bring in your bookstore gift card during your next visit to Dragonfly Books. If we can verify its worth, we’ll offer you an equal exchange of credit here at our store, and we’ll take the card off your hands.
Dragonfly Books | 112 W Water St | Decorah, IA 52101 |
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