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4 Reasons to Shop Small Business Saturday

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When you think about holiday shopping, your mind probably goes to big-box retailers before your neighborhood bookstore or antique shop. But in a time marked by widespread supply chain disruptions and inflation, underdog small businesses deserve our attention.

Enter Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is an annual event created by American Express that encourages consumers to shop at small businesses during the busy holiday season. It takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which lands on Nov. 27 this year.

Here’s why you should consider shopping small for the holidays, and what to expect.

1. Main street businesses need support

The pandemic hit businesses hard. Roughly 200,000 additional establishments — mostly small ones — permanently closed between March 2020 and February 2021, according to a Federal Reserve report. That’s on top of the pre-pandemic rate of roughly 600,000 annual closures. Many surviving businesses are still at risk, due to factors like deferred rent payments and overdue credit card bills. Your patronage could give them a fighting chance.

“I think we have to ask ourselves as consumers, would we be sad if a retailer closed?” says Lauren Beitelspacher, associate professor and chair of the marketing division at Babson College in Massachusetts. “And if the answer is yes, then we have to find ways to shop and support there when we can.”

Shopping and dining on Small Business Saturday is one way to show appreciation for local businesses, especially those we’ve depended on during the pandemic, Beitelspacher adds.

Remember the restaurants you got takeout from during stay-at-home orders? Or the skin care boutique that supplied you with hand sanitizer? They were there for us when we needed them; let’s return the favor.

2. Communities and the environment benefit

“By doing their shopping at local small businesses, customers can directly support their neighbors and help benefit their local economies,” said Mark Madrid, associate administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development at the U.S. Small Business Administration, in an email.

Shopping small for the holidays can also be environmentally friendly. When locally owned businesses locally source raw materials or manufactured products, it reduces the distance that goods travel, says Madhav Durbha, vice president of supply chain strategy at Coupa Software, a California-based business spend management platform.

“No shipping from across the globe and less packaging make for a smaller carbon footprint,” Durbha says.

3. It can offer a better shopping experience

“It’s basic economics, right? The supply is going to be lower, and so the demand is going to be higher, and so the prices are not going to drop like they have in the past. I’m not saying that there won’t be deals, but it might not be deals on the hot-ticket items that we want,” Beitelspacher says.

Flashy doorbuster deals that big-name retailers traditionally flaunt during holiday sales might be harder to come by. Shoppers can expect sold-out items and shipping delays in categories like toys, luxury goods and consumer electronics, Durbha says.

Small Business Saturday shoppers might fare better, depending on what they’re searching for. Shops that sell secondhand goods or items produced in the same community will be shielded from much of the supply chain disruption, Durbha says.

Shopping small for the holidays boasts other advantages, too. Shoppers can receive more personalized service and experience smaller crowds. Many small businesses also entice customers with exclusive discounts, promotions or freebies on Small Business Saturday — so saving money is still on the table.

4. You can find unique gifts

Shop at Target, Walmart or Best Buy and you’ll find little variation among their product selection.

“If you go to a big brand store, you can find that [inventory] in a thousand stores. But if you go to a small, locally owned business, you can find something very special and very unique for the holiday season,” Durbha says.

Maybe that’s handcrafted jewelry, a print made by a local artist, a vintage record player or a gift card for the best bakery in town. See what interesting, rare or one-of-a-kind gifts you can discover on Small Businesses Saturday.

TIPS FOR SHOPPING SMALL

Check your favorite local retailers’ websites and social media pages for store offerings, hours and event announcements in the days leading up to Small Business Saturday. You can also find participating businesses online using the American Express Shop Small map or by exploring hashtags like #shopsmall and #SmallBusinessSaturday.

Then, start gathering ideas for your gift list. You can get a sense of what might be in stock and within budget when Small Business Saturday arrives.

“Or get a head start on your shopping now,” Madrid said. “It’s never a bad time to support small businesses and to help boost your local economy.”

This article was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by The Associated Press.

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Medi-Share partners with Lestonnac Free Clinic for their “Wheels That Heal” Grand Opening

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Medi-Share partners with Lestonnac Free Clinic for their “Wheels That Heal” Grand Opening

Published on May 19, 2022

Medi-Share partnered with the Lestonnac Clinic to purchase a new mobile medical clinic and helped introduce their new “Wheels That Heal” mobile unit to reach the uninsured in southern California.

Christian Care Ministry/ Medi-Share, America’s leading health care sharing ministry saw a great need for a travelling medical clinic in many parts of southern California. This unit anticipates to reach over 2000 patients a year in a community with limited access to resources. This mobile medical clinic is state of the art, with the ability to provide free medical, vision, and dental care to the most vulnerable in southern California. Lestonnac is also partnering with the American Red Cross to provide additional resources and support after a local natural disaster.

When first introduced to the concept, Medi-Share appealed to its members nationwide to hit the goal and met the need.

“This mobile, freestanding clinic concept is a model that many other clinics can replicate across the country. Being able to get these resources into homeless encampments is life-changing to those who don’t have access to quality health care. Medi-Share is excited to be a part of this movement, and believes that efforts like this help us live out our vision of “Transforming society through the Biblical model of sharing.” -Evelio Silvera, VP of Communications and Government Affairs for Christian Care Ministry.

This mobile medical unit, “Wheels That Heal,” has been customized to harness every inch to its fullest potential. The generous layout has an exam room, waiting area, nurse station, and a restroom. It is equipped with an exam chair, which fully reclines, so it can be used for both medical and dental visits. The unit runs on solar power and is supplied with Wi-Fi to provide connection for virtual telemedicine visits. This equipment allows a patient’s appointment to be transmitted live to a remote volunteer provider, through a HIPAA-compliant connection, allowing for virtual medical consultations. This unit will further expand Lestonnac’s ability to provide health care services to patients in southern California, who previously lacked access to care.   

“It is such a privilege to be here to celebrate the grand opening of this mobile medical clinic. We would like to recognize Lestonnac Free Clinic and Medi-Share/Christian Care Ministry for all you have done to make this a reality. We have no doubt that our communities will benefit from your vision and initiative to go where there is a need. Our uninsured communities, our low income communities, the most vulnerable. Thank you so much and congratulations.” –Abigail Fachtmann Field Representaitve CA District 39 office of Young Kim

Lestonnac’s mission has always been to provide free health care services to low-income and uninsured residents in southern California. Through mobile expansions such as these, Lestonnac can bring that mission directly to those who need it most, right in their own community. Medi-Share is honored to partner alongside Lestonnac.

 To learn more about the Lestonnac Clinic visit: http://lestonnacfreeclinic.org/press

About Christian Care Ministry/ Medi-Share: Christian Care Ministry (CCM), a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, based in Melbourne, FL, operates the Medi-Share program, a Christian health care sharing program that provides an affordable alternative to health insurance for faith-based consumers. Founded in 1993, Medi-Share currently serves over 400,000 members across America. For more information about Christian Care Ministry, Visit: https://mychristiancare.org/press.

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#1 Bestselling Author and English Confidence Coach Francisca Garcés Launches Here Signature Program The English Confidence Method

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#1 Bestselling Author and English Confidence Coach Francisca Garcés Launches Here Signature Program The English Confidence Method

Published on May 18, 2022

English Confidence Coach Francisca Garcés, MA to Help Ambitious Non-Native English speaking Professionals to achieve total fluency through confidence building with her signature program the English Confidence Method

Since the early stages of second language acquisition, students struggle to separate grammar notations from real-life English application and expression. Professionals and career-driven intermediate English speakers find it hard to use English as a tool for self-development and the uplevel of career and life opportunities in English-speaking countries and scenarios. 

According to Francisca, one of the ways to become a great speaker and leader in a professional field in your second language is confidence building. Language learning is not enough. There has to be an element of mindset involved when traveling abroad or developing yourself professionally in an English-speaking scenario. Through mastery of discomfort, and reprogramming your brain to take action and build small habits, growth, personal or professional, inevitably happens. 

Unfortunately, English learners are sometimes limited by the following thought: “I need to be in an English-speaking country to practice and master English communication skills.” And although this accelerates results, it is more about your willingness and sound immersion. Francisca did not grow up in an English-speaking country but had such passion and determination for language learning that she did not let that stop her. 

Inside her signature program, Francisca combines both her amazing English communication skills as a non-native English speaker and confidence expert and her life experience as a depression and anxiety survivor. So, she knows about transformation and action. Because as language learners and high-achieving professionals, we can’t rely on theory and excuses.

In order to remove limiting beliefs around English mastery, Francisca adds “It’s not about the country. It’s about you and your willingness to put in the work, step out of your comfort zone and stand out from the crowd with confidence. No matter the circumstances.” A belief she encourages to her students inside the English Confidence Method. 

The English Confidence Method is an accelerated method to help ambitious, high-achieving non-native intermediate English speaking professionals go from feeling frustrated with their English communication skills and limited in growth to confident, fluent, and conversational so that they can capitalize on life and career opportunities in an English speaking country or scenario.   

Dalila Bivolaru, a brilliant member of Francisca’s signature program, said “Thanks to participating in this course I got my visa for working in the US and, I have participated in different interviews with foreign companies and got a job for the summer, initiating conversations with people from different countries.” 

Francisca Garcés Narváez, MA, is a multi-passionate and creative entrepreneur from South America who fell in love with music at 1 and English at 7. It is her mission to live every day being creative and helping others expand their mindset and opportunities through English communication skills. Her online course, the English Confidence Method, was designed to provide an effective method for high-achieving non-native English-speaking professionals from all over the world to become confident and fluent to uplevel their career opportunities. She recently became a #1 international best-selling author of Women who lead, along with other female trailblazers and entrepreneurs. 

Francisca hopes that non-native English-speaking professionals will learn how to master discomfort and English communication skills to achieve total confidence, and fluency with her efficient, and immersive methodology.

Carlos Daniel González from Colombia, who participated in the program, said “Her pronunciation system is unlike anything I have ever seen before. Furthermore, I now know with absolute certainty that recurrent practice, discipline, and continuity are what lead to the expected results. By training just a little each week, or on the weekends, you will not be able to become the English fluent and confident speaker you want to be. 

For more information about the program and how it can help you to uplevel your life and career opportunities in an English speaking country or scenario, book a call with Francisca’s team: https://calendly.com/englishconfidence/60min

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“Ignite Your Wisdom,” The Latest Compilation Book By Ignite Publishing Became An International Bestseller In 7 Countries After A Successful Launch On May 14th, 2022

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“Ignite Your Wisdom,” The Latest Compilation Book By Ignite Publishing Became An International Bestseller In 7 Countries After A Successful Launch On May 14th, 2022

Published on May 18, 2022

Ignite Your Wisdom has become a #1 bestseller on Amazon in Canada, the US, Japan, the UK, Australia, the Netherlands, and France. In fact, it became a bestseller in Canada and the US just hours after its official launch on May 14th, 2022.

“Ignite Your Wisdom,” the latest compilation book from leading empowerment publisher Ignite Publishing has become an international bestseller during its highly successful launch. Sharing the Ignite Moments of 34 authors, “Ignite Your Wisdom” is a book to inspire, uplift, and transform others.

Alongside its successful launch, “Ignite Your Wisdom” has also gained over 175 reviews, 97% of which have given the book a 5-star rating. People love this book and the powerful stories inside. One reviewer stated, “A perfect book to read while relaxing with a soothing cup of tea, or to give to someone who needs a different perspective on life.” Another person writes in their review saying, “This book is for everyone who wants to step into a more fantastic version of themselves and thrive! The stories are heartfelt, honest, and profoundly moving. A must-read!”

Within the pages of “Ignite Your Wisdom,” people will discover stories of triumph, finding a new path, overcoming obstacles, and gaining unique insight and a fresh outlook on life. These authors shared their stories to awaken you to something more and invite you to join them in a new world filled with outstanding wisdom for the ages. This book is for anyone who wants to discover the deep, life-giving wisdom that comes to us in moments of awakening, change, and growth.

Ignite Publishing’s books, including “Ignite Your Wisdom,” are centered around Ignite Moments. An Ignite Moment is that raw, genuine moment that happens to people when something profound occurs in their lives, be it a grief-stricken moment or a moment of triumph. An Ignite Moment is that turning point in people’s lives where their perspective shifts and they are catapulted into a new, better version of themselves. “Ignite Your Wisdom” contains 34 powerful Ignite Moments to inspire readers everywhere.

All eBook online purchases of “Ignite Your Wisdom” go toward the Ignite Possibilities School of Hope charity initiative, in partnership with Classroom of Hope, which raises money to help build schools as a collaborative relief effort in Indonesia to gain access to education. Every dollar donated equals one brick in a school, so just one book purchase can make a massive difference in the construction of a school these young students need to uplift themselves. Learn more about the Ignite Possibilities School of Hope at https://igniteyou.life/possibilities-school-of-hope/

“Ignite Your Wisdom” is the first book in Ignites new Ignite Virtue series. The series focuses on the qualities incredible people possess and the powerful ways having these virtues can transform a person’s life. Next up in the series is Ignite Forgiveness, with Ignite Your Courage, Ignite Your Faith, Ignite Your Creativity, and Ignite Your Purpose coming soon. Ignite is currently in the process of finding authors who have stories to share around each virtue. Right now, applications are open on Ignite’s website.

Another exciting upcoming project from Ignite is Ignite Humanity, which consists of a book and a docuseries. The docuseries will feature some of the brightest change-makers on the planet showcasing how they are uniting people and igniting humanity. In the book, more visionaries will be sharing their Ignite Moments all centered around the important topic of uplifting humanity. The docuseries is set to film this summer, with big names like Les Brown and Michael E. Gerber already attached to the project.

Ignite Publishing is changing the world one story at a time. It is their mission to ignite every life on the planet through compassionate storytelling and a powerful message of hope, inspiration, and empowerment. Leading the charge as empowerment publishers, even Forbes Magazine has recognized Ignite and founder JB Owen as, “the heart-centered publisher.”

https://smallbusinesstrendsetters.com/in-a-recent-article-in-forbes-magazine-jb-owen-founder-and-ceo-of-ignite-publishing-shares-how-she-built-a-business-that-ignites-lives-and-uplifts-humanity/

Ignite Publishing is living up to its mission by not only publishing books but creating a welcoming community for people from all backgrounds to come together and confidently share their stories. Ignite does this through its books, training, special events, and programs. To learn more about all the incredible things Ignite is doing, visit their website at https://igniteyou.life/.

“Ignite Your Wisdom” contains 34 life-changing stories from these authors:

JB Owen

Sarah Cross

Diana Lockett

Steph Elliot

Dr. Jo Dee Baer

Alessandra C.L. Pasut

Aly Incardona

Barb Lilley

Cindy Tank-Murphy

David Small

Dr. Erin Sepic

Dr. Kerry Egan

Jameece Pinckney

Jane Kilpatrick

Janine Marek

Jenna Haji

Katherine Davidson

Katie Smetherman

Loree J. Kim, Ph.D., Esq

Malissia Woodall

Marla Ford Ballard

Mary Streeter

MaryAnn Swan

Melanie Summers

Michelle Norlin

Mika Heinonen

Nicole Mixdorf

Peter Giesin

Rosemary French

Sharon Eistetter

Stacie Shifflett

Stephanie Fabela

Tish Meehan

Victoria Rader

To get a copy of “Ignite Your Wisdom” on Amazon go to, https://www.amazon.com/Ignite-Your-Wisdom-Jb-Owen/dp/1792387636

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