A beautiful day to shop local

Waking up is not easy for most people on the weekday. Thankfully, there is GVLToday, which makes the waking up process a little more easy. This five-day-a-week email blast has information to help you get through the day.

Of course, they gave us a nice shout out this morning, which helped put a spring in our step.

locally epic greenville

Upstate Business Journal article on Shop Local Saturday

Locally Epic is launching the Upstate Shop Local Saturday campaign to support locally owned and operated businesses and grow Greenville’s economy every fourth Saturday of the month. The Shop Local Saturday for this month will be March 24.

Offering location-based marketing technology for businesses and consumers, the Locally Epic app connects people with promotions and offers throughout the week to ensure they find the best deals on Shop Local Saturday each month.

“We want people to just go and buy local,” said Chase Michaels, the CEO and founder of Locally Epic. “The impact on our local economy can be huge if people do this.”

Out of every dollar spent locally in the Upstate, 75 cents stay here to build Greenville’s economy. This growth occurs at a much slower rate when buying online or at a big-box store.

Keep reading more here.

GSA Biz checks in with us about our new digs at Endeavour

Always fun to see a media story on the weekend. Check out this piece on our HQ in downtown Greenville (where we can walk to so many Locally Epic establishments)

From the story:

“Being a part of Endeavor has definitely helped us up our game and has given us access to great business minds right down the hall,” said Michaels. “The entire Endeavor team has been such an asset to Locally Epic. Once you experience the level of service they deliver, there is no doubt you will want to call Endeavor home for your company.”


More media attention

We are excited about speaking at TedX in a few weeks, but we are even more excited how much the media is giving us notice.

Here is a story in UpstateBiz.

Here is a story from GSA Business Journal.

And here is a story from the TedX site. We really liked this line from that piece:

Being in business is just not enough to compete in today”s retail environment, consumers want better buying experiences and a relationship with the businesses they are customers of. He believes Main Street is where we should spend our money not Wall Street!

Chase Michaels to speak at TedX

GREENVILLE, S.C. –  Chase Michaels, the CEO and founder of Locally Epic, will be sharing his story of how one company can help change an entire economy as part of TEDx Greenville 2018.

Patterned after the hugely popular global TED conference, TEDxGreenville continues to gain momentum year after year. Ever since its launch in 2010 as the first TEDx event in South Carolina, the conference has provided a platform to showcase Greenville’s leading thinkers and doers from all backgrounds.

Michaels’ company Locally Epic uses a mobile platform to connect users with local offers and promotions from nearby businesses in real time. This encourages shoppers to spend their money at locally owned businesses and allows those businesses to better reach potential customers.

At the conference in April, Michaels will be talking about the impact of shopping with Locally Owned businesses as opposed to online or big box stores. He feels that doing business with Main Street not Wall Street will help sustain and grow our local economy.

“‘Shop local’ has been a part of Greenville’s mantra for almost two decades – ever since rapid growth really started hitting here,” Michaels said. “Money that is made in the locally economy should be spent with locally owned businesses. We all need to be stewards of where we live.”

When Michaels takes the stage at TEDxGreenville, expect a dynamic explanation of the value of small businesses on job growth, events and programs, tourism, local personality, and more. Michaels is passionate about making sure the Greenville economy benefits from the businesses starting and staying here.

“All it takes is a little research,” he explained. “If everyone living in the upstate would pivot $20 a week for 52 weeks (a year) to a locally owned business instead of at a big box store or online, we would boost the upstate economy by $300 million dollars a year.”

TEDxGreenville 2018 will be held on April 6, 2018 at the Peace Center’s Gunter Theatre in downtown Greenville. Get tickets here.

About Locally Epic:

Locally Epic is the next generation of real-time location-based marketing technology for businesses and consumers. Locally Epic leverages time, space and message deployment with real-time aspects of engagement, implementation, customer loyalty and consumer acquisition metrics. Learn more at www.locallyepic.com.


Check us out at TEDx

We have some really cool news. We have been selected to speak at TEDx Greenville’s 2018 conference at the Peace Center’s Gunter Theatre on April 6.

So what is TEDx Greenville?

The event engages attendees in moving stories, jaw-dropping performances, and demonstrations of groundbreaking new technologies under the event’s theme for 2018: “EXPRESS.”

Patterned after the hugely popular global TED conference (www.ted.com), TEDxGreenville, the first TEDx event in South Carolina which launched in 2010, continues to gain momentum year after year through spreading ideas during its always sold-out conference and igniting Greenville’s leading thinkers and doers from all backgrounds.

“TEDxGreenville is a catalyst for the most progressive, most innovative, and most mind-expanding ideas possible, presented in one short day in Greenville. We want to be a vehicle in creating healthy, important conversation in Greenville.” stated Russell Stall, TEDxGreenville License Holder and Organizer. “The atmosphere is designed to be inspirational, fun, and thought-provoking, and we want to ensure that a

At the heart of TEDxGreenville are the event’s presenters: a diverse group that includes business innovators, community activists, scientists, academics, performers, and community change agents. Each of the presenters are chosen based on their potential to spur change and to create a shift in thinking in the Upstate. The event leaves attendees surprised, uneasy, impressed, troubled, moved, bemused, and inspired. Every talk and performance is offered in a spirit of growth and camaraderie that’s been integral to the TEDxGreenville experience since the organization’s first conference.

“Our goal when choosing presenters is to find inspirational, energetic, and fascinating people who want to create the Greenville of the future, It’s all about presenting the most innovative ideas that Greenville has never seen or heard before,” stated Julian Nixon, Curator and Director of the Presenter Selection Team.

The theme for 2018 is Express. According to Nixon, “The word Express can mean to express a particular genetic trait, or to express oneself through song and dance, or to act with haste. As the community looks towards what the future may hold for Greenville, many are aware that the characteristics of tomorrow’s Greenville are created today. So just what do we want our future Greenville to express? Let’s talk about it…”

We hope to see you there. Get tickets at tedxgreenville.com.


Brickyard asks us a bunch of questions

Greenville is a growing community, and we love it for that. There is an amazing entrepreneur spirit here. It is almost contagious, but in a good way.  So, we were honored when the BrickYard, the new blog/newsletter that is focusing on the Upstate,  wanted to  do piece on Chase Michaels and Locally Epic.

They asked him the “Least Asked Questions” that entrepreneurs get. Of course, Chase gave some great answers. You can read it here.

What is the Upstate?

The Upstate has seen tremendous population growth in the past decade. About 70,000 new people have moved to Greenville, Anderson and Spartanburg counties in the past seven years alone. These are people who have come for work and to enjoy the lifestyle here. They have added to our culture, but what have we shown them? They are getting heaping helpings of great Clemson football teams, a foodie boom, highway construction and amazingly unique downtowns. But are they really learning what the Upstate is? Are they enjoying the things that many of us know, but take for granted? And we are not talking about things that are no longer here. We are talking about the things that make our little slice of the world so very genuine. With that in mind, we at Locally Epic (with the always-wonderful aid of social media) have come up with a Top 10 list of things that anyone in our region has to do at least once to say they really live here. These are the things only an insider would know about and attempt over time. This is not a weekend fun list. This is the Upstate.

  1. Snap a photo of the Peachoid (but not while you’re driving on the interstate): Located just off I-85 in Gaffney County, nothing says welcome to the Upstate like a giant peach on the horizon. Yes, it does look like a giant butt. Thousands drive past it every day, and it even made it into an episode of “House of Cards,” so you really can’t say you live here until you have a picture of it.
  2. Go to Victoria Valley Vineyard: This vineyard in northern Greenville County has become a destination for many romantic dates. Located just off Highway 11, Victoria Valley Vineyards is beautiful and scenic, and the wine is locally made and fantastic.
  3. Take in a race at Greenville Pickens Speedway: This SHOULD be higher on the list, but apparently a lot of people have not been to this racetrack off Highway 123 just past the Saluda River. But they SHOULD go there. There is nothing like watching actual stock cars race, and this place has it, and so much more. It oozes authentic history. While so many places try to be authentic, this place is it. You get 10 points cooler on the authenticity scale just by walking through the gate. Oh yeah, and while you can buy a fried-bologna sandwich at the concession stand, you can also BYO beer and food, which somehow makes it cooler.
  4. Climb Table Rock: Are their better places to hike in the Upstate? Yes. But for some reason, this is the place everyone hikes at least once. Why? We think it is the view of “the rock,” which can be seen from miles away. A person is drawn to it, and wants to conquer it.
  5. Walk around Furman’s Lake: This was another one that surprised us, but shouldn’t have. A picnic and walk around the lake is high on the list of romantic (and inexpensive) first dates. Everyone does it at least once. While there, check out the Thoreau Cabin.
  6. Shop at the Anderson Jockey Lot: We want to make a joke about underwear or people who ride horses, but the reality is that a person can likely find both in droves at the Jockey Lot, a giant flea market located in Anderson County on Highway 29. For generations, many Upstaters considered Sunday to be a day for going to church and prayer. The others went to the Jockey Lot early to get a jump on the best sales and things to purchase. Today, well, now everyone needs to go to the Jockey Lot at least once.
  7. Trek around Croft State Park: This is an Upstate jewel located just south of downtown Spartanburg. Whether you want to run, bike, hike, swim or fish, Croft State Park has it. A former World War II camp with more than 7,000, acres to explore, Croft is simply beautiful. And the best part is the location: If you get bored or it starts raining, you are about a 10-minute drive to downtown Spartanburg where you can find plenty to do.
  8. Boat on Lake Keowee: We chose Keowee, but we easily could have chosen Hartwell or Robinson or Bowen. You might live here, but you haven’t really lived until you have found yourself sipping a cold one on the back of a boat on an Upstate lake. What, you don’t drink alcohol? We said cold one, and that could mean a Coke. Or a Pepsi. Or a Cheerwine. (You haven’t had a Cheerwine? Then go drink one and start over on this list. You can’t say you live here until you have had a Cheerwine.)
  9. Eat at The Beacon Drive-In: There is nothing like the Beacon anywhere else in America. Located on the cusp of Spartanburg’s downtown (go here after Croft!), it would be easy to say that stepping into the Beacon is like stepping back in time. But it is more like stepping into a different reality that is void of healthy food, gravity and good manners. Only one of those is true and it isn’t gravity or manners. But it’s not the food that keeps people and presidential candidates coming back time after time. It is the place. We lack the words to describe why it is great. It just is great. And don’t forget the password: Chili Cheese A-Plenty.
  10. Experience a heartbreaking day at Clemson: This is sort of a trick one. The Tigers have been damn near dominant at home the past few years. So, a lot of bandwagon Clemson fans  have gotten used to tailgating, watching a big win and then heading to TigerTown tavern after the game. But you can’t really say you have lived in the Upstate until you have experienced the unearthly, tomblike silence of Death Valley after the Tigers have found some bizarre way to lose a game. Whether that is a botched handoff that led to a touchdown for the other team with no time left; a failed field goal returned for a touchdown in overtime; a 99-yard touchdown run by the opposition in double overtime; a 105-yard interception return for a touchdown in triple overtime; a lightning bolt hitting the game-winning touchdown pass and exploding the football before it reached Rod Gardner; a freak tsunami coming up from Lake Hartwell and causing the Tigers to fumble on the one-yard line; Strom Thurmond running onto the field and causing a delay of game that moved Clemson out of field goal range; a rip in the time-space continuum that caused the…OK…you get the idea…

Anyway, welcome to the Upstate. You have your homework. Get to it.

Thinking locally, buying locally

A lot of people make New Year’s Resolutions.  There’s a good chance you made one. Or many. There is a good chance you’ve already broken them.

But we at Locally Epic want you to consider one more resolution that if you keep, can change the face of the local economy.

We want you to buy local. Go to the homegrown store for hardware. Buy a painting from a local artist. Buy a shirt at the local store and not online. We are not asking you to spend more money. Just take what you are spending now online and go to a locally owned shop. If Upstate consumers pivot $20 a week away for a year from online or a big box store to a locally owned store that would in increase the local Upstate economy by $300 million.

How is that possible?

For every dollar you spend in a Greenville-based business, 75 cents stays right here in Greenville. Even if you’re shopping at a Woodruff Road big box (and we all do, right?), 35 cents of every buck you spend stays local. In either case, that’s cash that flows through local employees, managers and owners and into other local businesses such as grocery stores and gas stations.

Compare that scenario to this: For every dollar you spend with non-local online businesses, only one cent remains in the local economy. One penny, vs. the 99 that won’t stay here. So in the bigger picture, what’s your buck worth online vs. locally – what’s it worth to you?

But let’s take that resolution to spend local a little further. What if you chose one day a month to do nothing, but purchase locally. Imagine that. Imagine the change you could make. And that is our Locally Epic challenge to you.

Every fourth Saturday of the month, just go and buy local.  Now, you may be saying “that’s nice, but I getter deals online or at the big box store.”  That is where the Locally Epic app comes into play.  Every day, more than 35,000 users in Greenville are finding deals and promotions from local businesses. These are real savings done in real-time via Locally Epic.

We are calling it Locally Epic Saturday,  and you will be hearing a lot about it. The ideas it to take the concept of Small Business Saturday, which everyone does in December, and spread it throughout the year. We are creating value.

And value takes us back to those concepts of quality of life, being fortunate enough to live in the Greenville area, and that buck that I hope is still burning a hole in your pocket. It’s your buck, and it’s your choice, but before you spend it, I do hope you’ll consider that every dollar you spend represents your opportunity to have a positive economic impact on our region and the Greenville lifestyle we’ve come to enjoy and, yes — value.