40 years ago, John Post started his business selling his now iconic art photography on the front porch of a local beach market in downtown Manhattan Beach. When the property was sold, he moved his business to another location in downtown Manhattan. His business was thriving when the 2009 recession nearly devastated the art market. After having weathered the storm initially, Mr. Post’s business almost closed in 2011 when he lost his location to a developer. “The turn was so abrupt, I nearly closed my business but as a self-employed photographer-artist, quitting was not an option,” says Mr. Post.
The Hurdles of Re-establishing a Brick and Mortar Business
As many small business owners know, re-establishing a brick and mortar business can be a challenge. The biggest hurdle? Visibility!
Mr. Post thought he would use his ShopLocal.us grant winnings for signage and marketing, but he never imagined that he’d be the Grand Prize Winner, “I was just happy to be one of the top three. When I found out I’d won the grand prize, I was speechless,” says Mr. Post.
Since winning, the John Post Gallery has enjoyed more publicity from the social media PR campaign supported by Localista Magazine and ShopLocal.us, and he now has the signage he wanted for his store, “It [the money] came at the right time. It has helped my business, things have been better, and the publicity has really helped,” says Mr. Post.
ShopLocal.us Restores John’s Faith in Himself and Humanity
“Winning was a psychological shot in the arm. It rekindled my faith in humanity,” says Mr. Post.
Self-doubt is another hurdle of owning and running business. Many business owners feel like they are “out there” alone. The ShopLocal.us programs and grant awards help to give small local business owners the support, assurance, and community rallying they need to succeed. Mr. Post agrees, “In times of strife you think you’re the only one who’s suffering. You need that encouragement, and there’s nothing like winning money to encourage you to continue to promote awareness for your business…what Heidi does is a real great thing.”
Someone Has to Win. Why Not You?
Bakers, Interior Designers, Shop Owners, Artists, and even Locally Owned Internet businesses have won the ShopLocal.us grant. “I think it’s a wonderful thing for local business, but it’s not only the money, it’s the emotional feeling of support that was more important than the money. I highly recommend any business owner to go for it! You just don’t know the feeling until you win one of the three spots,” says Mr. Post when asked about the grant.
Why Apply for the ShopLocal.us Grant?
ShopLocal.us is part of a grassroots effort to inspire more people to buy from local businesses in neighborhoods across America to keep our communities healthy, wealthy, and vibrant. To help local businesses achieve greater visibility and profitability, ShopLocal.us certifies small locally based and independent businesses.
ShopLocal.us is hosting its 3rd Annual Small Indie Business Grant Awards program for businesses based in the South Bay. This year’s winners will be revealed at the South Bay Business Mavericks Gala & Grant Awards ceremony taking place on Wednesday, October 21st 2015 at the Toyota USA Automobile Museum. Based on last year’s success, they expect over 100 attendees to attend the gala event, including local entrepreneurs, community leaders and small business owners.
When asked why do the grant awards? ShopLocal.us Founder, Heidi Butzine said, “The Grant Awards program is our way of giving back to the South Bay business community. We know it takes a lot to run your own business. It’s the courage, persistence and passion that drives the small business owners to get out there every day and serve our community. We’re proud to host the Small Indie Business Grant program to honor the tremendous contribution small businesses make to the national and local economy.”