June 7, 2021
SmartBrief on Mainstreet
Stories from the Street
Building on a love for baking, Betty Halpenny and Eleanor Monroe opened Ramona Susan's Bakeshop in 2016, which temporarily transformed into a takeout operation during the pandemic. The business is now supporting Pride Month with rainbow-themed cupcakes.
Full Story: Al Dia (Philadelphia) (6/4) 
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Caring for Customers
Reflecting on the results of the Kearney Brand Trust Survey, Pamela Danziger outlines what it is small-business owners can do to build trust with consumers. It starts with choosing the right message, understanding what sets their businesses apart and following through on promises.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (6/6) 
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Consumers have gravitated toward convenience and value during the coronavirus pandemic, along with virtual trials and brand purpose, writes Mark Jeffreys, CEO of 4Sight. Jeffreys offers marketers signs to look for with each trend to determine if and how consumers are shifting their behaviors as COVID-19 vaccination rates rise and economic activity increases.
Full Story: MediaPost Communications (free registration) (6/3) 
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Keeping Shop
With optimism in the recovery rising, there are several ways small-business owners can get focused on growth during the remainder of the year, writes Jeffrey McKinney. It's important to step up your social media marketing strategies, put a priority on what drives the biggest results in your business and seek new strategic partnerships.
Full Story: Black Enterprise (6/4) 
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Successful leaders "listen twice as much as they talk" and talk more in terms of "we" and "us" than about themselves, writes Steve Keating. "Authentic Leaders want the people who work with them to believe they can accomplish anything, even one day surpassing the leader," he writes.
Full Story: LeadToday (6/3) 
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Managing the Money
To fund the business you've always wanted to own, Charles Alexander, director of the Tennessee Small Business Center, outlines some of the options available. Citing personal savings as the easiest option, Alexander also explains why to avoid credit cards, says investors can be challenging to find, and that he's yet to meet someone who has successfully crowdfunded.
Full Story: Gallatin News Examiner (Tenn.) (6/4) 
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Tips & Tools
Recommended morning habits such as journaling, creating a to-do list or eating a slow breakfast can be counterproductive when they feel mandatory or forced, writes Seraphina Seow. "When you put contingencies around what your morning 'should' look like, this can make you anxious about doing everything perfectly -- then anxious if things don't go as planned," Seow writes.
Full Story: HuffPost (5/21) 
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Lessons learned: 7 leaders share post-pandemic plans
As companies make moves for employees to return to work, there's more to stay in work life after the COVID-19 pandemic than video calls. Leaders highlight listening to customers and employees more and implementing flexible work arrangements.
Full Story: Fast Company (tiered subscription model) (6/3) 
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News You Can Use
Almost 80% of LGBTQ small-business owners expect to recover from COVID-19 losses in 2022, while the same percentage lacks succession planning, according to a CNBC and Acorns survey. Justin Nelson of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce says it's crucial to build a succession plan, and financial planner M. David Goldstein reminds owners to pay themselves first.
Full Story: CNBC (6/7) 
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What employers should consider with vaccine mandates
Executives discuss how workplaces and culture could now be affected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's announcement that vaccine mandates and incentives are legal, with some caveats. 4A's Mark Piazza suggests agencies work with employees to meet the needs of both groups, and cautions, "Be consistent to avoid creating irregularities."
Full Story: Digiday (tiered subscription model) (6/4) 
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Brands have gotten more and more in tune to their customer, how they live and their lifestyles. They can fill the role of trusted advisor in specific niches. They’re listening to consumers in a way that other institutions aren’t as much anymore.
Katie Thomas, lead of the Kearney Consumer Institute, as quoted by Forbes
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