July 30, 2021
NRF SmartBrief Retail on Main Street
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Connecting with Customers
To better understand and improve the customer experience, it's important that you collect the right data. Peter Boyd, founder of PaperStreet Web Design, says emails are a must to proactively communicate, while Brian David Crane, founder of Caller Smart, recommends making it easy for customers to leave feedback and voice their opinions.
Full Story: Small Business Trends (7/29) 
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How to stand out on TikTok
Members of the Forbes Business Council highlight the most creative ways brands can capture the attention of TikTok users such as CoolSys' Adam Coffey, who suggests encouraging consumers to use products in unique spaces. Other experts point to the value of discussing current issues to connect with a community, sharing authentic testimonials, conducting hashtag challenges and demonstrating a charity affiliation to demonstrate goodwill.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (7/27) 
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Connecting the digital + physical worlds in retail
While the recent surge in digital interactions will remain, consumers now crave in-person interaction – which makes connecting the two more important than ever for retailers. This on-demand webinar explores the implications of the Covid-19 digital surge for retailers and how reimagining retail digital transformation can augment human interactions. Watch now
Keeping Shop
Simply deciding to set audacious stretch goals is an important step for companies and individuals, provided the goals are clear and accountable, writes Nick McLean of Four Pillars Investors. "Shooting for the stars requires stretch goals that might feel uncomfortable to some, yet clear goals and achievable growth metrics make it possible," McLean writes.
Full Story: Chief Executive (7/29) 
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It's Time To Cool Off And Save With Big Ass Fans!
When temperatures rise, you need a rapid cooling solution immediately—not when summer's over. From now through Aug 13, you'll save up to $2,000 when you create your own custom comfort bundle with stylish overhead fans and Cold Front evaporative cooler from Big Ass Fans. Don't wait. Get cool fast. Learn More
Managing the Money
There are still many funding possibilities now that the Paycheck Protection Program has closed, and choosing the right options will depend on the specific situation a company is in, writes Randa Kriss. From regional and community banks to Small Business Administration loan programs and online lenders, Kriss stresses the need to have an In-depth understanding of loan terms.
Full Story: NerdWallet (7/30) 
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Discussing the differences between personal and business loans, Jasmin Suknanan helps provide clarity on when it might make sense to use these different loans to start a business. The key is to have an idea of your expected revenue, "and know how you're going to pay back the loan before you even apply," says financial expert Ashley Russo.
Full Story: CNBC (7/29) 
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Business insurance costs are often deductible, so Nicole Urbanowicz reviews what you can and cannot write off. It's important to remember that "you generally cannot deduct expenses in advance, even if you pay them in advance," Urbanowicz notes.
Full Story: Business (7/29) 
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Stories from the Street
Taking over a landmark business, brothers Ben and Will Shattuck have focused on making new additions to Davoll's General Store while honoring the heritage and community feel. Adorning every nook and cranny in the store with local products and merchandise, the walls have been opened up to connect a new cafe and pub into a continuous space for their customers.
Full Story: SouthCoastToday (New Bedford, Mass.) (tiered subscription model) (7/29) 
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NRF News
Calling all startups ... sign up to feature your product in the Startup Zone at Retail's Big Show
Is your company less than three years old? Be featured at the largest event in retail. Showcase your technology among the industry's most innovative startups and be matched with investors for one-on-one meetings. The Startup Zone is open to all startup companies, apply now!
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How Ice Cream Jubilee plans to keep growing, scoop by scoop
It isn't often that one goes from being a high-powered attorney working for the Obama Administration to becoming an ice cream shop owner. But that's precisely what Victoria Lai did in 2013 shortly after winning a D.C. area ice cream contest -- and she's never looked back. NRF spoke with Lai, owner of Ice Cream Jubilee, about her entrepreneurial journey and being a Chinese American retailer in a challenging small business climate. Learn more.
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MainStreet SmartStat: July 30, 2021
College students and their families plan to spend $1,200 on average for back-to-school this year. Source: NRF's Annual 2021 Back-to-School Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics
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It’s critical for companies to understand who their clients are by analyzing their engagement and behavior. If small businesses understand their customers’ wants, they will be able to design tailored products to meet their exact needs.
Neel Kawale of Hauskey, as quoted by Small Business Trends
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