Are you done with your holiday shopping yet?

Is your email inbox full of marketing emails from national retailers? It’s hard to resist because we’re all busy…it’s so much easier to just buy your present from a big box store or national retailer when they’re offering BIG discounts and even free shipping/guaranteed shipping before Christmas.

We hope you consider SHIFTING some of your spending this holiday season to a local business because…

shop local this holiday season


Happy 2013 Local Lovers !!


Happy New Years from Shift Local! We thank you for supporting us last year and joining our quest for a more vibrant local community. We promise that 2013 will be more fun and much, much better for our local community – especially here in the Bay Area.

Unfortunately 2012 brought an unexpected surprise when my mom’s face was bitten by what is still unknown today. It was a painful and life-changing four months from July to October.  I couldn’t get myself to do anything and I’m sad to say Mari and I lost touch with the small business owners we met during the cash mobs.

This put a halt to the plans we had for Shift Local, such as featuring more independent locally-owned businesses and introducing their owners to the community they are investing in. We want to run contests and give away Shifterficates to promote the products/services from these businesses.  Basically we hope to engage those who understand and support the Shift Local journey and provide an opportunity for more personal interactions between owners and consumers.

However we have been pushing hard the past two months to launch


Mari, Jay (our 3rd teammate) and I have been developing this website to act as a portal for independent locally-owned businesses (ILOB) to not feel so “alone” while starting, running and growing their business.  We also plan to provide all the resources they need to obtain needed capital, enhance their expertise, expand their knowledge and strengthen their weaknesses.

Many of these ILOB owners have difficulty networking with other ILOBs, keeping up with the trends and challenging themselves to keep learning so that they build a sustainable business.

If you know any independent small business owners that could use our help, please send them our way. Our business model is based on disrupting the current system of marketing, consulting, financing and social media management support – a lot of what we offer is FREE (seriously, check our site, no “selling” involved, our use of “free” is not a marketing gimmick).

Once again, Happy New Year!!


You’re registered to vote, now what?

As I mentioned in our post, Register to Vote, there’s a lot at stake for independent and locally-owned businesses in this coming election.  Now that you’re registered to vote, the next step is to educate yourself with not the candidate’s positions on issues important to you but also with the several measures on the ballot.  I’m not trying to persuade you to vote one way or another but here is a list of propositions on the ballot that I believe could affect independent and locally-owned businesses.  So for those of you who want to see our local communities thrive, pay close attention to the following:

  • Prop 30 which raises the income tax rate on individuals who earn more than $250,000 a year and couples who earn more than $500,000 a year.
  • Proposition 32 which would prohibit unions and some kinds of corporations from contributing directly to candidates or campaigns.
  • Prop 38 which  increases income tax rates on almost all Californians until 2025
  • Prop 39  which would require multistate businesses would have to pay their income tax based on what percentage of their sales are in California.

Let me know  if I missed something.

As for voter guides, I recommend checking out the following:

KQED and the California Report came out with a guide  to the 2012 state ballot measures.  They took each proposition on the California ballot and pulled it apart to extract just the main points and most important arguments.

There is also 18MillionRising’s guide which is a collaboration of APEN and MIV Action Fund, and is formally supported by 22 Asian Pacific Islander American-serving organizations and takes positions on 9 state ballot measures.

The Institute of Local Self Reliance‘s Stacy Mitchell recently came out with the Six Small Business Issues at Stake at this Election, a guide for small business owners on what to watch out for when voting for federal and state candidates.  I thought that the guide was extremely informative and I recommend any small business owner and also to all of our fellow pro-local movement supporters out there to read it.

Personally, I am relying on Greenlining Institute’s recommendations because their mission resonates with me.   Here’s a printable copy.  The Greenling Institute is  a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of low-income communities and communities of color and they work on policies that make it possible for all communities to thrive.  For more information on how they came up with this guide, check out their about us page.

Great time to spend at small local businesses

Take advantage of this offer if you are on foursquare and have an American Express card to save $5 when you spend ten at participating small businesses!

Marc and I checked out Pho Minh in Pleasanton today and it was yummy! They have a buy one number 10 get the other one half off so with the Amex deal, we spent $5 for a satisfying dinner!