tv Your Business MSNBC November 26, 2016 2:30am-3:01am PST
hi, everyone. i'm j.j. ramberg, and welcome to our very special small business saturday edition of "your business" here from half moon bay, california. seven years ago, we covered the first small business saturday. and we have been amazed to see how it's grown. local businesses have latched on to it as a way to get customers through their door and kick off the day season. and shoppers have become more and more aware of how important it is to support small businesses. now, as we do every year, we chose a main street to do the
show from for small business saturday. and this year, we're in half moon bay. it's about 30 miles south of san francisco. it's a beautiful seaside village with breathtaking views of northern california's coastline. once primarily an agricultural town, the area which has been fiercely protected from being overbuilt, has turned into a quiet escape from san francisco and silicon valley. we spoke to half moon bay's small business owners to understand how they keep this quaint coastal town thriving by staying true to their local roots and also by being relevant to visitors who come here to shop, eat, and explore the natural beauty this area is known for. >> someone told me many, many years ago the first word in specialty is special. and i have always tried really hard to remember that. >> sandra murphy has owned p. cottontail, a children's clothing boutique in half moon
bay, california, for 31 years. >> a lot of the other clothing stores are chains, so you see the same thing again and again. but when you want something different or something a little out of the ordinary, or an amazing baby gift, i've got it. >> carl hoffman is the owner of half moon bay feed and fuel company, an institution in town since 1911. he, too, specializes in hard to find goods. >> we put anything in this store that they want. we'll sell it. we have a huge array of product here. and i think that's what it takes. i think that's why we were successful. >> but that success wasn't always a given. not too long ago, this busy main street wasn't so busy. >> we're open seven days a week. on a saturday and sunday, i would never see one car parked across the street. ever.
>> that's because half moon bay wasn't always a destination. in large part because it wasn't that easy to get to. for years, a treacherous stretch of highway one called devil's slide, would wreak havoc on traffic coming into town. cameron owns cameron's, an eclectic british style pub in half moon bay located on highway one. >> when devil's slide went down, you could go an hour without seeing one car on highway one. we literally would go out with lawn chairs and sit there just for fun. and it was just like it was a dead-end road. there was no cars coming by. >> after a long, hard-fought battle, the dangerous stretch of highway was replaced with a tunnel. and businesses like farmer john's pumpkin farm noticed the difference. >> personally, i believe it's increased the traffic on highway 1 at least 25%, 35%. i see it every day. now the old highway is a park. people can walk and look at the cliffs and enjoy them. >> that rugged natural beauty just 30 miles from san francisco and over the hill from silicon valley, is what keeps people returning to half moon bay again
and again. >> you've got the beach. we have two incredible world-class golf courses that you can play golf. we've got the mountains. we've got the redwoods. there's so much to do down here. >> and once they're here, they need a place to stay. that's why cameron is adding a 46-room hotel right next door to his pub. >> when hotel rooms are full, restaurants are full, nicknack shops are full, main stream is full. that's why our community does try to encourage hotel rooms on the coastside. >> if you're lacking to get a room with a view of that coast, look no firths than the ritz-carlton. like the tunnel, the 265-room hotel was a game changer for half moon bay. >> in 2001, the ritz-carlton was built. that put us in a different league. people went, whoa, if the ritz-carlton built there, there must be something to offer. >> farmer john is also a former
mayor and councilman in town. he enthusiastically embraces the changes in this small primarily agriculture based town he was raised in. >> when you think of the coast side and half moon bay, you're thinking of a premiere business for our community. they're an amazing employer and revenue source. ory transit occupancy tax keeps the city functioning. >> lending a new sophistication to the area, the hotel has close ties with small businesses in town. >> they try to do as much local purchases as well. who else can call you but the local chef and say i need two boxes of sprouts now? a big company isn't going to do that. >> those fall pumpkins on display outside the hotel, those john's, too. >> how much? >> 2000. >> in fact, pumpkins are a big part of the culture in half moon
bay. their annual art and pumpkin festival celebrating the fall harvest season brings thousands of people to the area. >> here's your orange crush pumpkin weight. 1,910 pounds. >> part of the funds raised in the event go to the main street beautification committee to help maintain half moon bay's downtown. >> they put all of the power underground. they put beautiful lighting down main street. they do all of the planter baskets and boxes. >> and somehow, main street half moon bay maintains this perfect alchemy of the old -- >> the magnetism is they can go back in time. every day, somebody comes to the counter and goes, i love this place. >> and the new. >> it's great. i sort of refer to it as a mini explortorium. you can go in there and buy really unique gifts.
it also has the world's largest marble run, which is actually done with a bowling ball. >> leslie hansen is the owner of oddysea. as a newcomer to main street, she clearly understands how important it is to support this special community. >> this year our pumpkins we got from farmer john. we bank at the bank up the street. my insurance company is on main street. i work a lot with the half moon bay review. anywhere i can be supportive of other local businesses, i am. >> if anyone asked you what you were doing when you were 20, would you remember? maybe you were in college. maybe you were holding down a full-time job. in south dakota, there's one 20-year-old juggling term papers and exams with city council meetings. he's a south dakota state university student and he doubles as the local main street manager who has helped bring downtown in his hometown back to life.
>> still in school? how old are you now? that kind of stuff. what age are you? can you drink? you get all of it. >> elliot johnson is savvy. >> our community is 25,000 people. i want to reach all 25,000 people before we're done here. >> he's social. >> welcome to our talk show. this is going to be a talk show today. >> he's a full-time college student. >> no, i didn't drop out. yes, i still take the classes. >> and this 22-year-old is the executive director of downtown brookings incorporated. in brookings, south dakota. >> it's just bizarre to me. i look back and am like, what were you doing? stick to the college classroom, elliot. you're too much. >> he applied for the job on a whim two years ago and got it, making him an accidental small business advocate.
turns out his roots made him the perfect candidate. >> i was born and raised here. the idea of community service was really inspiring to me. >> then we'll have the brookings logo right here on the side to showcase. >> i knew i wanted to give back to the people who taught me what my values were in the community. i was like, little do you know, i have no idea this is what i signed up for. but at that point, i was like, game on. >> seth cook, the owner of wooden legs brewing company, was on the downtown brookings board that hired elliot. >> we needed somebody who knows what this community is, but at the same time, had the perspective and foresight to see what the community could become. youth or inexperience could be seen as an asset. >> the board believed elliot would willing to take risks. the mayor had confidence he could handle the job. >> there were some people who look at you and go a college student? part-time? how is he going to do this, do that? i'm like, it's elliot. don't worry about it. >> elliot hasn't disappointed. he met every business owner in town to make sure they knew his face.
>> i think we went from gentle to really aggressive. how about that? i think the went from a really gentle nonprofit to let me bulldoze through these doors and just introduce myself sort of thing. >> in this situation, beating around the bush wasn't going to work. downtown brookings had an image problem. and someone had to nip that in the bud. >> when i said i was hired as the director of downtown, they would say, we have -- the director of downtown? i don't know what that means. oh, there's a downtown brookings. they didn't know. >> he also needed to get past all the questions about his age. which distracted from his mission. >> when i introduced myself, it's wait, you're in college? you're a full-time student? yes, i have a paper to write tonight, but let's talk about how we can grow downtown brookings right now. >> embracing the hurdles he faces, elliot transformed himself into a community force. >> i really felt like we had to start over and show these people why it's important to have a
main focused identity. i think if i was able to paint the picture for them, they were so much more interested in being a part of it. >> once he got business owners onboard, he pushed them a step further. elliot had to create a more cohesive environment. >> each business, i would argue, was vying for themselves. it's my business, i need to make sure it's growing. downtown brookings will service better if we all assume we're the same business. if my business is growing, the business across the street will also grow, too. >> elliot's first big step was on social media. downtown brookings' footprint needed to a face lift. >> social media works when you're talking about someone who we all know and love. telling you you had no idea why we have this business and why it's important to shop here and what they can sell you. >> creating attractions and events to shop followed, from summer concerts to promotional facebook videos to trick-or-treating, all sponsored by business owners. people couldn't resist. >> we were able to mix events with the social media market and to really get people involved. showing them that we can put things on right here downtown that will get you involved and also want you to come back.
>> elliot didn't want brookings to be limited by its size. >> i was trying to grow our urbanized feel, and so i saw these big blank walls. and i was like, forget that. let's go with a mural. once one project was done, it's like, let's go bigger. let's throw paint on this giant wall was why not. >> foot traffic increased. cuomers have responded with their dollars. >> the majority was a growth net of 19% in sales in 2015 compared to a year before i got involved. >> while some are still reluctant to join elliot's crusade, he now has plenty of company on his downtown journey. >> he brought a really fresh perspective from the social media, from just being active in the community and going to meetings and city council and just i'm really advocating for downtown businesses and what we have going on. >> there's definitely more people downtown.
i hear every noon hour, i can't park by your store. >> it can't always be the way it was. you have to change, you have to progress. if you don't change, you're dying. i would rather be changing and growing than being stagnant and dying. >> when times seem tough, elliot refused to throw in the towel. he feels a certain responsibility to brookings and its entrepreneurs. >> you have to tell yourself every day that you're doing something for small businesses on a daily basis and you're their champion. >> just in case you're wondering, elliot never neglected his studies while revitalizing his home town. in fact, he'll soon be able to call himself a college graduate. >> this semester is it of being a college student. it's happening. i'll finally have that diploma. i promise, and i'll show people, too. it will be proof. >> as we all gear up for small business saturday, how can you get your community to shop small? the american independent
business alliance gives us ten tips on how you can capitalize on this national event. >> one, partner with your neighbors. plan a block party, a downtown fair or even a parade down main street to get your entire community excited about shopping small. two, let your customers know. spread the word that you're participating. check out the sbs neighborhood champions program, and utilize their free marketing resources. three, make it a special occasion. put up signage, banners, and balloons. free food and live music are also great ways to attract visitors. four, extend your hours. open early and stay open late. five, cross promote with other participating businesses. you can think of programs or benefits to benefit everyone. six, reach out to the media. get in touch with local television stations, newspapers
and radio stations in your city letting them know what you're doing for the day. seven, involve local officials. ask them to participate and stress the importance of the day to the local economy. eight, reward your customers. consumers will be looking for special deals and discounts. you can also offer complimentary gift wrapping or a free gift with purpose. nine, incorporate cause marketing. donate to a cause in your town is a way for you to pay it forward and a chance to give your event more meaning. and ten, keep talking. wherever you go, be sure to mention small business saturday and share the importance of buying local. follow small business saturday's social media tags for the latest shareable news and tools to keep the message fresh. >> stick around. we'll have more information and advice to get consumers to show you the love this small business saturday. we have tips on how you can get shoppers to co-shop. have them bring a friend to the store and do twice the sales. that, plus i head to downtown l.a. with my dad so we can see
how small businesses have revived an area close to our hometown. small business saturday is our day to get out and shop small. a day to support our community and show some love for the people we love. and the places we love. the stuff we can't get anywhere else and food that tastes like home. because the money we spend here can help keep our town growing. today is small business saturday. let's shop small for our neighborhood, our town, our home. get up, (all) get together and shop small today. small business saturday is definitely gaining momentum. and we're trying to do our best to make it unique and fun
because i think people want to do their holiday shopping and do it in a fun way where they actually make great memories with their friends and family and it's not this crazy mad dash to some finish line. >> on small business saturday, we celebrate what small businesses bring to our communities. over the years, we have profiled main streets across the country like wilmar, minnesota, and bedford, pennsylvania, galina, illinois, just to name a few, to see how the entrepreneurs and small business owners have transformed their areas. this year, i wanted to go somewhere closer to my heart. when i was a kid, my dad owned a furniture store in downtown los angeles. when i would visit him at work, he would also take me to work somewhere downtown, but we didn't do much else there because there wasn't much else to do. boy, how that has changed. i grabbed my dad and we took a tour of downtown l.a. to see how small businesses have helped
revitalize that area. >> it's 9:00 a.m., and i'm at grand central market in downtown los angeles. we started the day here because by all accounts, this is where it's happening. where small businesses are starting to transform this city, and frankly, i'm impressed. i can't believe how busy it is. this is my dad, max ramberg. he's been a small business owner and entrepreneur since as long as i can remember. dad is my partner in crime today, because when i used to visit him at work, we would come downtown to have lunch. we thought it would be fun to take a tour to see how things have changed. >> when you come down here, doesn't it feedifferent? >> totally. it's so dynamic. everything has changed. it's become an art center of the city, and a cultural center. a sports center. everything is growing so rapidly. >> that change is nowhere more apparent than here in the aisles
of the grand central market. when adele took over his space after her husband passed away, it was far from the hip gathering place it is now. >> the problem was in the market, there were like ten different taco stands and four or five different chinese stalls. and the food was really always the same. >> today, things are quite different. with places like the chinese cafe, an institution at the market for decades, next to more modern tenants like sticky rice. >> i think something that gets lost when you talk about what's happening here is the fact for most everybody in the market, this represents their first chance to actually open a brick and mortar. and this place has really sort of incubated these concepts and allowed them to be. >> so now it's attracting not only people woo live and work in
the neighborhood, but it's become a destination itself, bringing people downtown. >> how much is that? >> jan perry has had a front-row seat to this transformation of downtown. she's a former city council member and now the general manager of the economic and work force development department for the city of los angeles. >> if you had to explain in a few words the soul of downtown as illustrated by its small businesses, what would it be? >> i would say this. small businesses in downtown los angeles are eclectic. one of a kind. choices beyond your wildest imagination. you can find almost anything you want down here. >> that combination of old and new, from little tokyo to the super trendy arts district is part of what's attracting people to this area of los angeles. and when you look at the crane-filled skyline, you realize the days when people cleared out at 5:00 p.m. are long over.
>> people love living in condos and being able to walk to restaurants and bars and grocery stores. i think that's what's happening down here. the bones of downtown l.a. are beautiful. and there's just a ton of people that want to live down here. >> our next stop is an amazing co-working place filled with entrepreneurs and free-lancers and people starting new businesses. >> ronan, the owner of cross campus, houses dozens of new small companies in this dynamic new co-working space. he believes these entrepreneurs are an integral part of growing the eco system of downtown. >> the people who live in l.a. are surprised by the vibthat downtown has nowadays. the last piece of the puzzle, and this is where cross campus comes in, is we help build community among creative professionals, so when shared work spaces like cross campus
and others start to host events at night, now there's a real activity. there are things happening, and that keeps people downtown. >> julia works for wolf point advisers which started in chicago. when it came time to choose a place for their new l.a. office, downtown was the clear choice. >> the energy is great. diversity of the business community here and the concentration of all the businesses here are just really attractive to us. >> for michael, growing up downtown for him was similar to what it was for me. >> my mom used to work at the federal building. would go meet my mom and walk to olvera street and then come back and head back on the bus. >> so specific. it wasn't -- >> not like the way it is now. >> locations you could go to versus you could just go. today, michael wouldn't dream of having his company based anywhere else. >> being here has been the best thing for us. we have networked and developed
business partnerships in the first two weeks we were here, built a bunch of business connections. and that's the key. networking is the key, being along and building these links to help your business, to help their business. you can only do that in downtown here. >> but for all the new companies and new coffee places and new restaurants, it's also the businesses that have been around for generations that help downtown keep its soul. and for that, dad and i had to end our day back where we used to spend them, lunch at the 108-year-old philippe's with the best french dip you can find anywhere. >> we earned this. the double dip is yours, as always. the single dip is mine. >> wonderful. >> we've all heard that when you shop small, it benefits your local economy much more than if you spend your money elsewhere. but what does that actually mean? we break it down for you with information courtesy of the
american independent business alliance. this is main street usa. there's a toy store, a coffee shop, a barber, and lots of other places to spend your money. and every time one of your dollars ends up in their cash registers, the benefits for your community are huge. that's because when you spend locally, three times more money stays local compared to buying from a big box store. and nearly 50 times more than buying from an online giant. take $100. spend it at a big box retailer, only $14 of those dollars make their way back to your local economy. spend it online, that drops to $1. but use that money in onof your local retailers and $45 stays right there, helping the area you live in. how? it's a multiplier effect. first, payroll. support a local retailer and
suddenly, they can hire more people. that's more people who will have more money in their pocket to then spend at local restaurants and theaters and other retailers. second, booming businesses need support. if your local companies are doing well, they'll need architects and construction companies and accountants and lawyers so that money you spend on a jacket at that local boutique is now helping support other local companies as well. but it's not just about the money. shopping local is generally more efficient, which means less strain on infrastructure and more tax dollars freed up to spend on other things to boost your community. and if you care about the environment, neighborhood businesses typically consume less. finally, when it comes to community building, small businesses do a lot to create events and are around to support local causes and teams. >> shopping with friends and family members can be a lot of fun, especially during the holiday season. so as a small business owner, small business saturday is the
perfect time to be creative and boost sales by encouraging your customers to shop together. our guest has some great ideas how to do this. justin krane is a certified financial planner and money strategist who teaches entrepreneurs how to be strategic with their money so they can grow their business. he's also author of "money, you got this." easy to implement money strategies to take control of your finances and live your dream book. love the title of your book. >> i do love shopping with my girlfriends around the holidays. i think it's so fun. small businesses can capitalize on this. >> absolutely. >> and they should. >> for sure. >> give us some ideas on what they can do. >> the first tip is about making it an experience for both people that want to co-shop. >> like shop with a friend. >> you want to have it be like a scavenger hunt. you can get four or five stores
to band together and give coupons, deals, prizes, d gifts, making people shop together and making friends go to a store that they might not otherwise go to. >> got it. so if i'm shopping with my friend, we get something here and they send up somewhere else. >> exactly. it's based on having the friends go to different stores together. >> the whole idea of making it a social experience. it's not just i have to go in there and get something. it will be fun. >> you can pick a cause that benefits the community, maybe a charity, and engage the charity to promote what it is you're offering. friends going to stores together, maybe if two friends buy something, the store gives $2 to charity. >> you sort of alluded to this, but having a loyalty program. >> absolutely. what a great idea to have the friends collectively pool their resources and let's say if they all spend $500 together, they get a wine and cheese party to come back to the store, maybe a gift card. really letting everyone collectively pool their money together. >> this is to your point of having a friendship discount. justin, so good to see you. thank you for all the tips. perfect timing. we really appreciate it. >> thank you. from here in half moon bay,
california, i want to thank you for joining us today. we would love to hear from you. so if you have any questions or comments about today's show, e-mail us at your business, or head to our website, openforum.com. we posted all of the segments from today's show plus a whole lot more. don't forget to connect with us on our digital and social media platforms, too. i hope you have a fantastic and very profitable small business saturday. i look forward to seeing you next time. i'm j.j. ramberg, and remember, we make your business our business. small business saturday is our day to get out and shop small. a day to support our community and show some love for the people we love. and the places we love. the stuff we can't get anywhere else
and food that tastes like home. because the money we spend here can help keep our town growing. today is small business saturday. let's shop small for our neighborhood, our town, our home. get up, (all) get together and shop small today. breaking news. former cuban president fidel castro has died at the age of 90. residents of miami's little havana are celebrating in the streets, holding signs, and waving cuban flags. castro's brother, raul, made the announcement on tv saying the commander in chief of the cuban revolution passed away. castro handed power over to raul in 2008 as his health began to falt falter. the u.s. normalized relations later in july of 2015. life turned terrifying in an incident. you're locked in a