We think small, talk small, hear small, eat, sleep and breathe small. Because when you’re trying to connect with a small business, you must understand everything about those who run them.

Driving Loyalty in Our Fickle World

Consumers are bombarded these days with loyalty programs from every direction. The average household has 29 loyalty memberships across retail, financial services, travel and other industries. Loyalty perks continue to evolve. A free dessert or 5% off the toilet paper you were going to buy anyway isn’t cutting it any longer. Customers are beginning to resent having to use a merchant card to enjoy the cost break. True loyalty comes from learning who your customers are, building a relationship with them and encouraging them to share their experiences with their family and friends. And companies like Sephora, REI and Nordstrom are doing just that—mixing up their programs to drive loyalty.

NYTIMES.COM

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Large Companies Support Local Food Movement

Large grocery chains such as Whole Foods have jumped on the local food bandwagon by finding niche local food suppliers. But it’s not always easy for these small stores to expand at the rate needed to meet Whole Foods’ unforeseen order sizes. Some local businesses even choose to reject Whole Foods’ requests in fear that their product quality will suffer. But when local businesses do accept the call to the big leagues, Whole Foods is patient with companies trying to meet these large order requests.

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Do Small Businesses Care About Cyber Crime?

Though small business owners may be weary of the market, cyber security is not something they worry about. The PNC Economic Outlook survey found that only one in 10 small business owners were concerned about cyber security. Richard Bynum, executive vice president and head of business banking at PNC Bank, explains that “It is a big concern because it doesn’t take much more than one breach to have that nightmare scenario.”  Read more