Since Julie Rustad of Julie Originals and Deanna Chevas of Local First Arizona started asking business owners and entrepreneurs to meet up for a coffee break every few weeks, the interest has been high.
This bi-monthly meet-up is meant to bring the power of group support to those lone leaders in our community. Together we can brainstorm for a new concept or offer ideas to solve a dilemma. Often we can get stuck for lack of peer support and another’s perspective or experience can pave the way to success.
If you’d like to join the conversation, meet up with us. The next Entrepreneur Meet-Up will be:
We’re pleased to announce that Local First Arizona member Striking Stone has moved to a new industrial studio as of May 1, 2013, in order to accommodate the company’s rapid growth. The new location at 20816 N. 20th Avenue #30, Phoenix, Arizona 85027, is approximately 1,000 square feet, which includes a small showroom for clients to view finished stone product and discuss projects in a comfortable environment.
“This move represents an exciting transition for Striking Stone,” noted Jeffrey (Oakley) Rolwing, Striking Stone’s Owner/Craftsman. “The studio allows us to work with larger stones and showcase our capabilities to clients. Being an active member of Local First Arizona has helped us understand what the local business community needs to do to become more successful.”
Striking Stone donated this beautiful piece to our 2012 Fall Festival silent auction!
Each home, apartment or business in the valley of the sun has some sort of address marker. Striking Stone provides each client a method to express their personal flair. By offering a space to meet face-to-face with clients, they can watch their artwork come to life on stone for an everlasting impression. The studio will showcase stone choices, fundraiser options, memorial samples and customizable gifts. Congratulations Striking Stone on this new chapter for your business!
Great news for Scottsdale residents: you can enjoy a variety of street food every Saturday night in Old Town! The grand opening of the newest food truck court isn’t until June 8, but you can enjoy their soft opening this Saturday. Here are the details:
This is the first time that Scottsdale has allowed food vendors in the area so please come and support our local food trucks so we can keep street food in Scottsdale! There will be 7 roving gourmet kitchens, comfortable seating and live music. There will also be a concierge on hand to answer questions about menu’s and direct you to local area shops and bars. So make this Saturday a night out on the town and enjoy some gourmet food trucks! You can like Food Truck Caravan on Facebook to get the latest updates on this weekly event and find more details about their grand opening on June 8.
Looking for something different to bring to your next office potluck or need a new theme for a dinner party? White Eyes Fry Bread can provide the sizzling fixings in the form of amazing locally made fry bread that is sure to wow your guests, cohorts and fellow employees. This mobile food truck offers delicious Indian tacos while their newly opened Glendale cafe serves up fresh, delish fry bread that can be topped with carne asada, chicken, green chilies, beans or sweet topping like nutella, caramel and powdered sugar. If you’re a large business owner, consider having White Eyes mobile truck swing by for lunch! Visit their website for more information and to see where they’ll be next!
In this series of posts, we’ll share some great deals and ideas for “staycationing” in Arizona! A staycation is where you take a vacation, but stay within your state’s borders. Arizona has so many great places to explore, and we’ll share some of our local favorites with you here!
Did you know that on average, Tucson is about 5 to 10 degrees cooler than Phoenix? That’s a huge difference in the summer time, every degree counts! As the snowbirds head back north for the hot season, take the opportunity to experience the real Tucson. Many hotels and inns are offering summer specials to entice the locals to visit, so take advantage of these unique offers! You have a couple of great options for your stay in Tucson that you can see below.
Before picking where you’ll lay your head at night, start planning your fun staycation activities by watching our Tucson WeekendZona video!
Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch & Resort – Hacienda del Sol is a historic jewel on 34 acres in the foothills of the Catalina Mountain range. In 1929, John and Helen Murphey created Hacienda Del Sol; a desert retreat, with many personal touches crafted by the Murphey’s . The property was originally a school for the daughters of society’s elite families. Today it is luxury resort with a Triple A Four Diamond restaurant with an award winning wine list and more. See what spirited Southwestern hospitality is all about. Special: Book 3 nights at the best available rate and get the 4th night free! View other promotions here.
Time to geek out with tech picks that are both functional and fun. When you’re ready for your next “gotta have it” technology, here are several gadgets and services that Local First Arizona members are excited about:
Centralized Tech:Student Experts is a Tucson-based business delivering Internet marketing solutions for small-and-medium sized organizations. Led by CEO Dean Falconer, Student Experts picks SmartThings, a group of devices that go beyond cool to support office function. SmartThings, a recent Kickstarter project that Student Experts supported, makes your home or office smarter by remotely controlling climate, lights and door locks from a smart mobile device. “The possibilities with this gadget are endless,” says StudentExperts’ project manager Britt Brouse, who notes that the SmartsThings products may be monitored and controlled via a hub device and web services. As early backers of this Kickstarter project, Student Experts received its SmartThings kit recently. “We coupled SmartThings with Schlage remote door locks to secure our office doors and require a code to access certain parts of the building,” notes Britt. Contact Britt or Dean for additional information about online marketing services. 520-200-7340 | @studentexperts | facebook.com/studentexperts
Entertainment Smarts: There’s increasing buzz about HTML and how television manufacturers embrace technology for picture enhancement as well as entertainment, interactivity and web application. Appliance Mart of Willcox AZ, celebrating 20 years in business this month, has its eye on super-sharp innovations for its customers. Co-owner Betsy Ajeman enthusiastically recommends TV manufacturer LG’s Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) products for their reliability, gorgeous color and Internet capability. In her showroom is a 42-inch LG-LED smart TV that allows you to surf the Internet on the big screen, value-priced under $1300. Betsy often uses her iPad to demonstrate products or research customer preferences. She has her manufacturers’ web pages bookmarked, enabling her to enlarge product photos, describe items, and use stock in the showroom for comparison. Questions about smart television products? Contact Betsy or Cary at 520-384-2262.
In the Cloud:Datadrive is a Tucson computer repair and IT support provider that has provided small business owners with technical support for more than 22 years. As a small business owner and as someone who advises others how to best use technology, owner and Local First Arizona member Brian Lawson looks for ways to make the most of the latest tech products and services.
Cloud-based storage is one innovation on the cyber horizon that many small business owners have yet to adopt, says Brian. “Most of us have at least two or three computers we use throughout the day – at the office, at home, and probably another portable device for anywhere,” he indicates. “Cloud-based storage services allows saving a document, spreadsheet or any computer-based project into a folder that is uploaded to a webserver and then automatically synchronized so that can be access from all computers,” explains Brian.
Although a popular cloud-based storage system is Dropbox, Brian also flags some great products designed specifically for small business. When a business needs to exchange large files (including photos, videos or tax returns) with clients and runs into problems with file size via e-mail, Brian recommends myClientFolder. “This cloud based storage system is designed specifically to meet the needs of small and medium sized business and is very affordable at only $14.95 per month,” he says. “Best of all, it was created and is supported by a local Tucson business, Telexis Software. “ (Telexis is a Tucson based software development company that produces small business-centered products.) For on-call IT support or more about the cloud, contact Brian 520-622-4050 | facebook.com/DatadriveInc|Google+
Tech trends and products offer potentially huge opportunity for our businesses…as well as enjoyment. Keep watch on the reviews at Mashable or Digital Trends. Learn more at Wired. There’s so much out there for small business to watch and embrace.
The Local First Arizona directory of local businesses is full of goods and services to help with your technology interests and needs and so much more.
Our annual summer campaign, Independents Week, is fast approaching! Part of our annual independent business celebration is the media deals offered through our Independents Week Media Partners, all independent and Arizona-based media publishers. We know that many local businesses struggle to appropriately market themselves, so we’ve put these deals together exclusively for you.
General liability coverage will protect the policy holder against claims made for bodily injury or property damage due to negligence. An example would be a customer slipping on a wet floor causing a broken arm. If it is proven that the business owner was aware of the wet floor but did nothing to remove the hazard, general liability insurance coverage would pay the potential medical and legal costs brought by the injured customer. Premiums are based on the potential exposure using industry standards. Restaurants for instance traditionally have much greater customer flow compared to an accountants office. Greater exposure leads to higher premiums.
For many businesses this insurance coverage will be included in their package insurance policy. A package insurance policy will include both property and general liability coverage. With businesses that fall outside of the package policy limits, business owners will need to purchase individual policies, both for their property coverage and general liability coverage. Those are then called monoline policies.
When receiving an insurance quote, it is critical to compare the details. General liability coverage for assault and battery limits, false or misleading advertising, libel, slander, and copyright infringement can be critical to a business.
No two businesses are alike. Therefore at Ambassador Group Insurance we like to meet with our clients to better understand their specific needs. Even though the industry is based on broad standards, knowing the exact coverage needs can make the difference in higher premiums or inadequate coverage. In addition as a broker we try to provide several coverage options. We do have some carriers that are hands down the best coverage option. Even those policies can be tailored to a specific businesses needs.
Every year, the Phoenix Business Journal puts together their 40 Under 40 list, a collection of Phoenix’s finest young business people and entrepreneurs who are involved in the community. We were excited to see quite a few Local First Arizona members make the list! Congratulations to all of our young, stellar members making a difference in the Phoenix community: