We bought a Lustigt prize wheel for $29.95 at IKEA a few years ago, and once a month we set it up for our First Friday on Monroe Street event. Everyone who makes a purchase of $10 or more gets to take a spin, and we give away store gift cards as well as small… Read More

The CARES Act continues to help stores and restaurants recover from the pandemic through various programs, some in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administrations (SBA).  The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) here in Madison, Wisconsin used some of the CARES Act funding to create a series of enlightening short videos on the topics of… Read More

There are over 7,500 active members and 55,000 stores in The Boutique Hub network, so this is clearly an important player in the specialty shop world. The organization, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, is targeted at fashion boutiques – but offers tools and programs that could be of use to many different types of… Read More

I’m sure Tinder doesn’t ask any questions about how compatible you and your prospective mate would be when it comes to running a business together, and yet the concept of a couple operating a store is so engrained in our American culture that the term “Mom and Pop store” actually appears in the dictionary.  If… Read More

Ten days ago a popular downtown restaurant here in Madison, Wisconsin announced a GoFundMe campaign to raise $175,000 to help them recover from COVID debt and ongoing rising costs.  A few days later a local chocolatier posted a GoFundMe with the ambitious goal of raising half a million dollars to build a chocolate factory.  The… Read More

When you hire an employee, you’re required by the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS ) to complete and retain a Form I-9. If you have some copies of this form on hand, you can use them through October 31 – but after that, you could face penalties if you don’t switch to the… Read More

Barbicore was one of the  examples I mentioned a few weeks ago in describing the use of the word “core” to describe a trend that is part visual, part lifestyle.  In the case of Barbie, the emphasis is mostly on the color pink (coupled with a desire for fun).  According to People magazine, donning pink… Read More

Given the importance of Facebook and Instagram to small business promotion these days, the fact that parent company Meta has launched a new social media platform is big news.  Threads is similar to Twitter, which claims a higher organic reach than other social media platforms. Founder Mark Zuckerberg claimed that Threads reached 100 million sign… Read More

“Cottagecore aesthetic draws inspiration from pretty farmhouses and countryside cottages,” according to an article on Contractors.com. “Cabincore, on the other hand, hints toward cozy cabins and woodland lodges.” Other sources mention that Barbiecore is going to be big this year, along with Mermaidcore.  In case you missed the memo, the suffix these terms all have… Read More

Amazon Prime days will soon be upon us – this year they are July 11 and 12. Now that Amazon takes such a big bite out of all of our sales, it’s easy to forget that their first target was bookstores.  But the American Booksellers Association, whose members have been hard hit by the online… Read More