Charity should begin at home, but should not stay there. ~ Philip Brooks
You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. ~ Anonymous
A good laugh is sunshine in the house. ~ William Makepeace Thackeray
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THANK, SMALL BIZ!
There isn’t anything ordinary about being extraordinary. To excel at something is not the norm. It isn’t common to be above average. To be recognized for excellence means that you stand out above all others in your field.
This week is Small Business Week. We recognize the true economic engine of our country that employs over eighty percent of the population. The hundreds of
thousands of entrepreneurs across this country that put food on our tables and a roof over our heads.
Most small business owners make little more than those whom they employ. Many others are small family proprietorships. Yet despite this, they understand that their
prosperity is dictated by the strength of the community they serve. So, we commonly see them donating funds, energies, and talents, towards strengthening their
community. This makes them ‘extraordinary’ people. They excel in their generosity and are often seen as volunteering above and beyond the average person.
I think most of us know these things, but because the support that small business owners give to our community has been ongoing on a consistent basis, we tend to take them for granted. Small Business Week is an opportunity to reflect on those who have supported our kid’s hockey team or our daughter’s dance club. To recognize those that support our churches, schools and community events. Without the support of small business, many of these things could not be enjoyed to the extent that they are today. Therefore, it’s important to show our appreciation. Small Business Week isn’t a celebration of businesses shouting, “Look at me!!! Look what I’m doing!!” It’s a celebration of our community saying to small businesses, “We appreciate what you do and how you do it.”
The highlight event for small business in Airdrie is the annual Small Business Awards. This year sees a record number of nominees and the largest slate of finalists I can ever remember. This, in itself, is remarkable, given the amount of new challenges the business community has had to overcome. Despite increased taxes, legislated wage increases, carbon levies, and numerous new labour laws, these businesses have all continued to rise above those challenges. These are this year’s standouts. Through excellence in each of their fields, they standout. They are extraordinary. Only a handful will be recognized as masters of business excellence, but each and every nominee is certainly worthy. And there are many others deserving of nomination that may have been overlooked.
So, with those thoughts in mind, I ask that each of us take a second to thank a business this week. Thank the salon that does your hair, or the cashier that rings in your purchase. Let them know that you noticed they donated to that last silent auction you were at, or that you appreciate them sponsoring your kid’s sports team. Post your appreciation for all that they do on their social media pages or send them an email, letting them know that you appreciate their investment in our community. If you work for one, maybe show up at work with a coffee for the boss and let them know how proud you are to work for such a generous company.
The truest form of gratitude is to actually support these businesses with our wallets. I’ve never seen ‘Amazon’ or ‘Wayfair’ donate to a silent auction or make a donation to a local community event. So, before hitting the ‘buy’ button on your computer, ask yourself, “Can I get that at a business in my own community?” After all, folks… a community is only as strong as those that support it.
It was the fall of 1996 when Canada Post announced that they would be increasing the cost of ad mail substantially. Businesses in the City of Airdrie and surrounding communities scrambled to find an effective alternative to the now cost prohibitive postal service. Within weeks, ADvance Distribution was formed.
ADvance Distribution not only offered a cost effective way for retailers to have their sales flyers delivered, but also ensured that the advertiser's message would be delivered dry and legible, no matter what the weather conditions might be. This was done by placing flyers in plastic bags made from recycled plastic, and then hanging them on residential door knobs. Distributing the flyers in this manner also ensured that the flyers were always taken into resident’s homes, as they would have to take the bag off of their door knob when entering their home. This form of flyer distribution has proven to be superior to the practices of other flyer distributors that roll them up with an elastic band and leave them to the elements.
As ADvance Distribution grew, they noticed that the sending of a sales flyer on a regular basis was a financial hardship on some of the smaller businesses. So they began to work on the concept of a cooperative flyer. The idea was to have a flyer that highlighted multiple businesses, who would then in turn share in the costs. Different formats were considered, but none of them were acted on until September 11th of 2001.
It was September 11th, that inspired the launching of “Here’s the Scoop”. With every newspaper, radio station and television station showing the horrors of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 over and over, it was decided that this would be the perfect time to launch a “Good News Newspaper”. The publication is supported by advertisers, just as any traditional newspaper would be. But the news is limited to good news. The pages are filled with community events, heart warming stories and lots of jokes and humour.
The concept was a success. In fact, it has been so successful that the publication now boasts a readership of over 50,000 people every week. And as Advance Distribution enters it’s 19th year in business, the company owes much of its success to their flagship publication, “Here’s the Scoop” which is now entering its 13th year of circulation.
Advance Distribution has now expanded into offering branding packages, marketing campaigns, graphic design and printing of everything from sales flyers and postcards to letterhead, business cards and envelopes. The company has become a one-stop shop for clients to put together a successful marketing campaign for everything from grand openings to seasonal sales.
Although Advance Distribution has had the honour of being nominated for several various business achievement awards over the years, it is their readership and clients they are most proud of. It is through the support of their clients and their loyal readership that support the advertisers, that Advance Distribution and "Here’s the Scoop" have been able to grow and prosper.
Winning Edge Awards [a small business (50 employees or less) that exhibits outstanding achievement in innovative practices, customer service, and growth and actively participates in the community.]
We are proud to be the Winning Edge Award winners in 2003 and 2011.