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.

 

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.

Happy New Year’s

Locally Epic Greenville

We want to thank everyone in Greenville who downloaded the app in the past year (more than 30,000 of you!), all of who have offered a promo on the app (more than 100 of you) and all of other supporters in 2017.

It’s been one Locally Epic year.

As we look forward to an amazing 2018, we have some really cool things brewing coming from Locally Epic including a pet contest, a fun event to go along with the Duck Derby in May, the return of the Epic Quest this fall, a shop local initiative, numerous more chances to win $1 million at a Furman basketball game or Greenville Swamp Rabbits game and many more surprises.

We look forward to sharing them all with you.

GSA Business Spotlight

GSA Business’ Book of Experts did a full-page article on Locally Epic this week. Story isn’t online, but here is the story below:

Locally Epic Greenville

A key thing to pull from the story:

There’s no denying the convenience of the internet – it is, after all, in your phone, and your phone’s in your pocket or purse (or more likely, your hand) right now. But about that buck: For every dollar you spend in a Greenville business, a whopping 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 like grocery stores and gas stations. It buys cars from local dealerships. It buys homes constructed by local builders. It is our economic life blood. 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.

 

 

Do you like hockey?

Locally Epic Greenville

What’s better than watching the Greenville Swamp Rabbits play hockey? How about the opportunity to win $1 million while doing so? Yep, you read that right. Locally Epic is sponsoring the $1 Million Slap Shot Contest at select Swamp Rabbit home games this season!

Which home games? We glad you asked! We will be asking you to shoot for the score on December 21st, 23rd and 28th; January 7th and 12th; February 6th,15th and 20th; March 6th and 23rd; and April 5th.

So, what do you need to know in case you get called down to the ice to take part?

  • NO Assistance of any kind either formally or informally, intentional or unintentional, however oblique in nature.
  • NO Practice shots
  • NO Substitutions.
  • NO Past or Current Hockey Professionals.
  • NO College Hockey Players within the last 5 years or NO High School Hockey Players within the last 2 years..
  • NO Cross-Over from other sports (Curling, Baseball, Cricket, ice skating) as per addendum #4. Hole-in-WON.com determination is Final.
  • NO Elite Amateurs. (Currently or within 2 years have played organized semi professional or Club Hockey.Hole-in-WON.com determination is Final. A professional is also defined as anyone who is currently in, or has been within the last year, the hockey industry or pursues as a profession, profits and/or gains from the hockey industry. EX:(Assistant Hockey Coaches) Hole-in-WON.com determination is Final.
  • One winner or shared award unless otherwise stated in writing.
  • Four Independent witnesses required AND unedited videotape. If prize value is $25,000 or greater one of the Independent Witnesses needs to be a Police or Hockey official. Hole-in-won.com determination is final.
  • Only 1 of shot or shot(s) allowed per contestant(s), from the contracted distance and/or Any distance in the contest, as per contractual terms and conditions. NO Multiple Attempts, Additional shots, or Retry’s. NO Distinct Advantages are to be given to following Contestants in a Multiple Contestant events by lining up directly behind the previous contestant.
  • Client/Contestants must also adhere to all contractual points, terms, conditions and the rules and regulations of NHL. NHL Distances are as follows: Center ice 87 feet from Goal; Blue Line 60 feet from closest goal; FAR Blue line 114 feet from FAR Goal. Contests MUST be a MINIMUM of these distances. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Cut outs / Template Must NOT be any larger than 3.5 inches in length to 1.5 inches in height. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • NO Current or Former employees, immediate member of any family, agents, successors, assignee’s of the sponsor/client are eligible, as well as any promotional company, advertising agency, organization or company involved with the event. The parties acknowledge that Golf Marketing is NOT liable for reimbursement of any prize(s) otherwise payable to promotional contestants who are in violation of this provision. WAIVED
  • Names and likenesses of promotion winner(s) may be used by Hole-in-WON.com and or its designee(s) for promotional purposes without further compensation to the client or the promotion winner(s).
  • Any and All changes to this rules eligibility addendum and contract MUST be done in writing and signed on by the client and Hole-in-WON.com PRIOR to the event.
  • All eligibility terms, and conditions of this addendum are the SOLE responsibility of the client.

30,000 and rising

Locally Epic Greenville

GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Locally Epic app, which helps bring together businesses and users in real-time, just eclipsed 30,000 users in less than a year of operation.

Locally Epic engages local consumers via a mobile platform that allows them to enhance their ability to find local offers and promotions from a wide range of businesses in real time, while allowing businesses to effectively reach new audiences.

The app, which can be downloaded here or found on Itunes or GooglePlay, has  45 total categories for people to review and more than 100 local businesses and non-profit organizations on it.

Locally Epic also is creating mass way for small business to get noticed. A lot of people are deleting apps from their phone, while many small businesses don’t have the resources to create new apps to meet market needs. Locally Epic allows companies to share the app, and by creating value to consumers the app is more likely to get added – not purged.

Locally Epic chose the Greenville area to launch because its team believes the region’s economic growth and high number of small businesses make it a perfect fit for the platform.

“We created something that real people could use in Greenville and the Upstate,” said Chase Michaels, Locally Epic’s CEO. “We are excited by the growth, but we know it will keep growing.”

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.

 

GSA Business talks to us

Locally Epic Greenville

Did you do any shopping this weekend? Was it local? Check out this story from GSA Business Report where our very own Chase Michaels was talked to about the importance of shopping locally. Remember this as you continue to shop.

Also, story is not online, which is why we are going way old school with this photo clip!

Don’t Underestimate Your Role in Making Greenville Great

How much difference does a dollar really make these days? Maybe more than you think.

Take Greenville – we’re fortunate to live in such a  thriving city that’s earned well-deserved national recognition as being a true gem of the Southeast. Now granted, part of that is because of our geographic location, and since that’s priceless, where does your buck fit it?

Think about taking a stroll along Main Street, or antiquing in Travelers Rest, or finding the perfect Christmas gifts in the shops along the Augusta Road business district. What if those businesses didn’t have local support? Would Main Street be as warm and inviting without as many occupied storefronts? Would there be The Shops at Greenridge? Would Greenville be the same city we treasure now?

There’s no denying the convenience of the internet – it is, after all, in your phone, and your phone’s in your pocket or purse (or more likely, your hand) right now. But about that buck: For every dollar you spend in a Greenville business, a whopping 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 like grocery stores and gas stations. It buys cars from local dealerships. It buys homes constructed by local builders. It is our economic life blood. 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.

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 we all value convenience, and the internet does make it easy to find deals. Fortunately, the internet is an open playing field, and there are ways that local businesses can participate. Take Yelp – which has become successful because it’s all about local food and local folks’ opinions. And while Yelp probably takes a lot of our bucks home to San Francisco, the company also understands and believes in the value of local businesses, to the point that Yelp even provides training to help local small businesses learn how to make the most of social media.

That type of help is critical, because while the internet is open to all, it isn’t always cheap or easy. In truth, there’s no shortage of barriers that keep small businesses from taking full advantage of the internet’s power. For a business owner, joining the online world represents a substantial investment, often with seemingly few tangible results.

There’s now another way you can use the internet to easily find what you’re looking for, right here in the Greenville area. Locally Epic, which is a local startup, works to connect local shoppers and businesses, thereby combining the convenience and power of the internet with the value of shopping locally. Consumers can now access a mobile-friendly online platform to find local offers and promotions from a wide range of businesses  in real time, while business owners can effectively reach new audiences. Think about it: As much fun as exploring quaint shops can be, more often than not, you’re probably looking for the best price on a specific item, or the best way to solve a certain need. And you’re probably on a tight schedule. At times like these, you can now connect with the best solution right here, right now. That’s true convenience.

 

Locally Epic is also working to create ways for small business to get noticed. You’ve probably downloaded an app or two that promise local bargains, but these usually provide pre-selected “deals” that rarely coincide with your needs. In the long run, a lot of people wind up deleting these apps from their phones, which impacts the small, local businesses that don’t have the resources to keep investing in new apps to meet market needs. Now local companies can share one app, and by creating value for consumers and businesses alike, that app is more likely to get used – not purged.

And “value” takes us back to those concepts of quality of life, being fortunate enough to live in the Upstate, 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.