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Independently owned businesses to be featured in Shop Local Connect app available in the App Store

An app that will help people SHOP LOCAL.

Redondo Beach, California-----May 24, 2013-----Available today, the app Shop Local Connect offers an easier way to find locally owned and operated businesses for community focused individuals and consumers looking to shop local. It allows locals and travelers to find nearby independently-owned businesses that have been certified through ShopLocal.us. After the debut of the ShopLocal.us website and its business certification program, the app provides Certified Locally Owned businesses and users another way to stay connected.

Users can locate nearby certified businesses using the map and “more local businesses” views. They can also search directly for a specific business by name or zip code using the search tool. One of the main features is the built-in QR code reader which allows users to verify certification status, access special offers and view business details by scanning the code in certification badges posted in storefronts, marketing materials and advertisements. The “history” tab also allows users to go back to businesses they’ve visited using the app. New businesses will be added regularly.

“Our company is highly focused on creating powerful tools to support local businesses in every way possible. With the launch of the app, ShopLocal.us has an opportunity to encourage more people to buy from their locally owned businesses by making it easier to locate them. We look forward to having more businesses come on board.” said Heidi Butzine, founder of ShopLocal.us and Certified Locally Owned program leader.

Shop Local Connect is a free app for iOS available at the App Store. The Android version is under development. Please visit http://sholo.co/app for screenshots of the app.

About Heidi Butzine Heidi Butzine is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, wine aficionado and shop local expert. Her most recent book, Shop Local: A Practical Pain-Free Guide to Shopping with Purpose, is the result of extensive, hands-on research and part of her personal mission to get more people to support local businesses everywhere and strengthen the communities where they work and live.

A successful business woman with a knack for finding business solutions, Heidi created a successful consulting agency that was coveted and purchased by a Fortune 500 company. She runs several of her own businesses and works with organizations based around her passion for writing and travel, her love of wine and her desire to help small businesses and entrepreneurs succeed. She is the founder of ShopLocal.us and Certified Locally Owned™ and creator of Wineopolis® Citizen's Guide wine travel book series.

About Certified Locally Owned Certified Locally Owned makes it easier for people to find and shop at local businesses based on a proud distinction and certification of locally owned and independent businesses across the U.S.

The Certified Locally Owned™ program was created to help local shoppers easily recognize locally owned or independent businesses based on our certification. The certification carries marketing benefits including being featured and marketed on the top-ranked ShopLocal.us web site as well as a unique business QR code, which marketing experts can attest is an excellent way to measure effectiveness of business advertising.

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For more information, contact: Mike Mena at 310-316-0612 or mike@ileanainternational.com.

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