In fall 2013, Syracuse University piloted a partnering opportunity for local businesses to better enjoy the benefits of guests visiting during SU Family Weekend. Over 20 businesses participated. In an effort to continue to communicate opportunities for local businesses to plan special marketing and deals in coordination with big University events and weekends, we would like to offer you a FREE Orange Kit.

Orange Kits will be distributed over the next couple of weeks by hand. Simply request your kit by emailing Kate Hammer at Please include your name, business, phone number, business address, email, and hours of operation. There are a limited number of Orange Kits available, so secure yours ASAP!

Orange Kits include the following and more:


  • Important Dates– Mark your calendar with special SU dates and weekends to coordinate your marketing with each influx of SU visitors


  • Come to Campus!– Check out a list of SU events and venues that are open to the public. Many are free or low cost entertainment and cultural enrichment


  • Otto window decal– Welcome your Orange patrons!


  • ‘Beyond the Hill’ Flyer– Feature your business with this brand new online marketplace


  • 2014 Football Season Ticket Flyer


  • SU Challenge Course Flyer– Did you know that businesses are eligible to book team-building excursions with their staff?


  • University College Information– Learn about part-time study at SU (Infographic, Summer Course Catalog, Summer College Handbook for High School Students, Professional Development Flyer, and Affordability Chart)

We hope to receive feedback from you on this kit regarding which pieces you considered to be helpful and what other materials you would like to see included next time. Please direct comments to Kate Hammer, or 315-443-3919.

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Truly local (and sustainable) craft beer from Empire Brewing Company

The brewery in New York state uses local energy, grows its own ingredients, composts and more.

All photos: Empire Brewing Company

You’d think brewing great beer that people love would be enough for any brewer. But not for David Katleski, founder of Syracuse, New York-based Empire Brewing Company. Katleski wants his beer to do more – from reducing his brewery’s environmental impact and supporting local businesses, to creating jobs and problem-solving the way to better beer. And he’s managing to do all of that, along with consistently answering to consumers who demand tasty beer (and who may not care about anything else).

Starting where most people would end – with a successful and beloved brewpub in a popular downtown area, Katleski has not only moved to expand his company over the 20 years it has been in business, but has lowered its impact via a number of innovative programs, from composting everything that comes out of his restaurant’s kitchens to sourcing food from over 60 local farmers (using a program the company set up for this purpose).

Empire recycles their waste materials, including water and grains, and they even buy their energy from New York state sources – something Katlestki spearheaded himself. “I live right near Fenner Wind Farm outside Cazenovia and one day I’m looking at Fenner and wondering why I can’t buy my energy from them. And I know that Niagara Falls generates electricity – I couldn’t understand why I was buying renewable energy from the Midwest,” says Katleski, who helped kick off the idea of an energy option from BlueRock Energy that uses all New York state-produced energy. It’s how he powers Empire and is now an option for others as well.


The energy story above is key to Katleski’s mode of thinking and one he has repeated successfully several times; identifying a problem or a potentially better way and then working with stakeholders and the local and state government to change. In fact, it helped him make his next step not only beneficial to his business, but to those he partners with as well.


Katleski is now set to break ground on New York state’s first farmstead brewery, which takes all his previous endeavors to the nth degree – while expanding his company significantly. “It’s going to be 22 acres, which includes gardens, edible forests, and the herbs we use in the beer, including acres of lavender, which we use in our White Aphro beer. We want to grow our own hops and some malts,” says Katleski. The new space will offer brew tours and food for visitors on weekends while bringing Empire to the next level – being able to make enough beer so that they can sell six-packs throughout the region; right now they only make kegs of beer at facilities in central New York and Brooklyn.
While the original idea was to set up the brewery in a downtown location using one of the many disused industrial buildings that are remnants of upstate New York’s manufacturing past, Katleski was persuaded instead to build it out in the country, not too far from where the company was already growing ingredients. He looked into the state’s past success with wineries to put the idea together.

“I saw that back in 1976 New York state passed a bill to allow for farm wineries; there were only 30 then, and now there are almost 400. With farm wineries followed agritourism. People now tour wineries in Long Island, Niagara Falls, the Finger Lakes, and it’s turned into a strong economic engine for the state. I thought, why can’t breweries have that same kind of designations? And with the popularity of craft beer, we could create farm brewed beer.” With the precedent set, he helped get a similar program going for beer.

Katleski worked with the New York state government and got legislation passed for destination farm brewing about eight months ago. He’s even trying to get farmers to grow barley in-state again (they haven’t grown the kind that makes beer for about 50 years). “I hope to get malted barley back as a staple, and grow hops production and processing. We’ve seen hops take off in the last five to eight years; but barley production in its infancy. We’re working with Cornell University to do research, to successfully make the transition,” he says. 


How did Katleski get motivated to start thinking about the impacts – both economic and environmental – of his chosen career? It started, like it does for so many people’s sustainability journeys, with food: “Someone along the line asked me about the carbon footprint of the food we served. So, about seven years ago, we did an analysis for every single item on our menu, and we checked how far it traveled. We determined the average piece of food we served in our restaurant traveled 3,000 miles. That freaked me out,” says Katleski.

Despite all the innovative and forward-thinking ideas that seem to have spring from Katleski, he says many of them come from his 70 employees – it helps that sustainability is automatically on the agenda at the company’s twice-monthly meetings. And towards that end – knowing that engaged employees make a better company – Empire is set to become an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) company in the near future. 

Brewing beer has a long and storied history, but the good news is that while brewers can be competitive, they are more likely to share what they know and work together; already other New York breweries (most smaller than Empire) are looking to do some kind of farmstead brewing.

Brewing beer is as much an art as it is a science, and successful brewers know how to balance the two – Empire Brewing Company is doing so much more.


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Understanding the Small Business Credit Crunch

By Stacey Mitchell
April 16, 2014

Even as their big competitors are awash in capital, many locally owned businesses are struggling to secure the financing they need to grow. A new ILSR analysis has found that, since 2000, bank lending to large businesses is up 36 percent, while small business loan volume has fallen 14 percent and “micro” business loans — those under $100,000 — have plummeted 33 percent.

(The largest corporations do not even need to rely on bank loans, of course, but can finance their growth through the soaring stock and corporate bond markets.)

The problem is not a lack of demand. In our 2014 Independent Business Survey, 42 percent of business owners that needed a loan in the previous two years reported being unable to obtain one. Startups, businesses with fewer than 20 employees, and enterprises owned by minorities and women are having an especially difficult time. Even with the same business characteristics and credit profiles, small businesses owned by African-Americans and Latinos are less likely to be approved for loans, according to one recent study.

One consequence of this credit shortage is that many small businesses are either not adequately capitalized or have been forced to rely on high-cost alternatives, such as credit cards. Both scenarios make them more vulnerable to failing.

The broader consequences for our economy are significant. Studies show locally owned businesses are a primary source of net new job creation, contribute to higher median household incomes, and increase social capital. Yet independent businesses in many sectors are losing market share, while the number of new startups has steadily fallen over the last two decades. Insufficient capital is a key culprit driving these trends.

To shed light on this problem and help inform policy discussions, ILSR has published an overview of the small business lending landscape. Among the key takeaways:

  1. Local community banks provide a disproportionate share of small business loans. Indeed, it is their decline, in both numbers and market share, that is largely to blame for the constriction in small business lending. As local banks lose ground to big banks, there are fewer financial institutions focusing on small business lending and fewer resources devoted to it. The top 4 banks now control 43 percent of all banking assets, but account for only 16 percent of small business loans.
  2. Credit unions account for less than 7 percent of small business loans, but have significantly expanded their lending in the last decade, growing from $14 billion in business loans to over $44 billion today. Only about one-third of credit unions currently participate in this market, however.
  3. Federal loan guarantees, provided through the U.S. Graph: Change in Large vs. Small Business Loans, 2000-2012Small Business Administration, have historically played an important role in expanding credit to small businesses that don’t quite meet conventional lending requirements. In an alarming trend, however, the SBA has dramatically reduced its support for smaller businesses and shifted more of its loan guarantees to larger businesses (which still count as “small” under the agency’s expansive definitions). Since the mid 2000s, the number of business loans under $150,000 guaranteed by the SBA each year has fallen from about 80,000 to 24,000. Meanwhile, the SBA’s average loan size has more than doubled to $362,000.
  4. Crowdfunding has garnered a lot of attention recently as a potential solution to the small business credit crunch, but crowdfunding remains a tiny drop in the bucket, compared to the resources of the banking system. At the beginning of 2014, banks and credit unions had about $630 billion in small business loans on their books. The total volume of business financing provided through crowdfunding amounts to less than one-fifth of 1 percent of this. Although crowdfunding will undoubtedly grow and could emerge as a valuable source of capital for local enterprises, it does not obviate the need to fix the structural problems in our banking system that are impeding the development of community-scaled enterprises.

Originally Published by Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR)
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Turning the global economy into connected communities

Connecting people and businesses will make for a more resilient economy and a happier population, Balle founder Michelle Long tells Oliver Balch

Oliver Balch, Monday 7 April 2014

Michelle Long, founder and chief executive of Balle: ‘We no longer know where our food comes from’. Photograph: BALLE
The family-run Colophon Café is your archetypal local eatery. Staff members know their customers by name, most suppliers live nearby and a proportion of profits finds its way to charities based in the area.

Nor is it alone in boasting such neighbourly credentials. The Bellingham-based cafe is one of over 600 local businesses across Whatcom County in Washington State committed to pursuing a “localist” agenda.

The regional network forms part of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (Balle) to redress the “disconnections” inherent to contemporary global capitalism.

“We no longer know where our food comes from when it ends up on our plate or where the waste goes when we finish a meal,” observes Michelle Long, founder and chief executive of Balle, as well as a long-term Bellingham resident.

It’s not just the impact of globalism on our food chain that concerns Long and her fellow localists. Our whole system has come unmoored, she argues. Savers have no real idea how their money is used. Shoppers know next to nothing about the environmental impacts of the products they buy. Chief executives live in worlds far removed from those who work for them or from the communities they purportedly “serve”.

For Long, repairing what she sees as the broken relationships wrought by the combination of economic globalization and corporate giantism is essential. And not only for our economy, which she argues will become more resilient and more productive as it becomes more local (ie boasting shorter supply chains, greater local ownership, closer proximity to the environment, higher socially inclusivity and so forth). But the more connected as individuals we are, she maintains, the happier and more fulfilled we’ll be as human beings.

“To connect deeply within, to connect deeply with one another, to connect in reverence to the natural world: these are local behaviors. That is real prosperity … it’s not a distant act, it’s a local act by its very nature,” she states.

She likes to cite writer and conservationist Wendell Berry, the so-called “prophet of rural America”, who talks of the need to move from our current “one-night stand economy” to a relationship-based economy. But how to get there?

The answer, perhaps predictably, centers on making connections. First, with one another. The primary function of Balle is to work with “connectors”: individuals who bring together local farmers, retailers, investors, manufacturers and the like from across a community. The infrastructure of today’s economy – be it physical, financial or regulatory – all encourage a business ecosystem that is large and loose. Turning that on its head will only happen when local change-agents bandy together.

Balle runs a fellowship program for these kinds of connectors. The two-year course involves multiple-day immersions, visits to one another’s communities, structured network opportunities and “deep leadership work” designed to connect connectors with themselves.

“At Balle, we find pioneers, we connect them, we nourish them and then we tell their stories so others could imagine what’s possible for their communities”, says Long.

It’s a hands-on affair. Long is deeply suspicious about technocrats sitting round big tables laying out plans to solve other people’s problems, elsewhere. To help Balle’s wider network of “dreamers-and-doers”, the organization offers a host of webinars, case studies, conferences and workshops to “spread the things that are working”.

Connecting locally-minded business owners with investors marks a particular imperative. Balle recently ran a series of webinars on Community Capital, for example, which set out to how to identify and approach local investment clubs, community foundations and the host of other non-Wall Street funders now cropping up. Balle also lobbied hard for a recent change in federal legislation that makes it easier for small businesses to raise capital through crowd funding and mini-public offerings.

Long points to the Boston Impact Initiative as an exemplar of how the world of finance is localising. Offering a combination of debt, equity and grantmaking, this private investment fund adopts Balle’s localist principles as its investment criteria. Its portfolio of investments, all of which focus on the Boston area, includes a recycling cooperative, a non-profit lender to small businesses, a microfinance agency and a neighbourhood deli.

“It’s really radical to start investing this way, rather than ‘How do I make the most money?’ or ‘How do I screen out a couple of things that are bad?'” notes Long. “Most of the socially responsible investing has not really questioned the premise that the same people will end up with the money. That has to be fundamentally called into question if we are going to change our economic system.”

Back in Bellingham, Long’s localist vision is coming face-to-face with today’s globalised realities. Planners have earmarked the town as the possible site for a new mega-export facility designed to ship “tons and tons” of coal to Asia. Long is adamantly opposed: “It’s not what the community wants.” Those enjoying a quiet, leisurely bite in Colophon Café almost certainly agree.
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Holiday Shoppers Heed the Call to Buy Local

Published on American Booksellers Association (

Holiday Shoppers Heed the Call to Buy Local [1]

Originally Posted on Thursday, Jan 02, 2014

Independent booksellers rang in 2014 with high spirits and stories of success, as special holiday sales and buy local efforts brought customers out to support local bookstores in communities nationwide.

Booksellers who spoke to Bookselling This Week reported a strong holiday selling season, with some notable sales increases over last year. Many also noted that the buy local message really resonated with customers this year, and that local authors were among the popular picks.

“Christmas sales were good,” said Janis Irvin, owner of The Book Bin [2] in Northbrook, Illinois. With Hanukkah coming early this year, “we had a strong November so we were worried sales might drop off, but they just kept going into December.” While the store’s bestsellers are typically fiction, this year’s biggest titles were nonfiction, including Doris Kearns Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit (Simon & Schuster), The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown (Viking), and Bill Bryson’s One Summer: America, 1927 (Doubleday). Other standout titles at the Book Bin includedTransatlantic by Colum McCann (Random House), The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (Simon and Schuster), and The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure (Sourcebooks Landmark).

The Book Bin’s sales were up over last year, and, like many other booksellers, Irvin noticed a change in consumer attitude. “I’ve had this store for 42 years,” she said. “I really feel that customers were more attuned to an independent bookstore. People were walking in saying ‘now this is a real bookstore.’ It was a very positive sales season for us.”

At Reading Rock Books [3] in Dickson, Tennessee, December sales increased by more than 24 percent over last year. Laura Hill, who co-owns the store with her sister Amy Jernigan, said that the most popular items were from local authors.

A pictorial history of the county rang up huge sales throughout the end of the year, and another very popular title detailing the history of the area — available only through the bookstore and the local museum — helped Reading Rock attract brand-new customers.

“What really helped was that there were people who had never been in our store who came in to buy that book,” said Hill. “They were astonished to find a bookstore here. It brought so many new people through our doors.” Additional standout titles included Santa Is Coming to Tennessee by Steve Smallman (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky) and The Southerner’s Handbook: A Guide to Living the Good Life by the editors of Garden & Gun (HarperWave).

The buy local message also proved to be helpful leading up to the holidays, said Hill. Dickson’s local Chamber of Commerce produced “buy local” T-shirts for local business employees to wear on Fridays during the summer, and the whole town participated in Christmas in Downtown Dixon in December, a festive open-house event involving many community businesses.

“Last year was the best year we’d ever had, and we’re seven percent ahead of last year,” said Hill. “I’m over the moon about that.”

At Northshire Bookstore [4] in Manchester Center, Vermont, “holiday sales were good,” said store owner Chris Morrow. “We added a new store this year [in Saratoga Springs, New York], which had good sales as well.” This year’s holiday sales at the Vermont store matched last year’s, with one of the most popular titles being Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York (St. Martin’s Press).

Montrose, California’s Once Upon A Time Bookstore [5] kicked off the holiday season by participating in Indies First and welcoming 13 authors and plenty of customers to the store on Small Business Saturday, said owner Maureen Palacios. Sales remained strong through the months of November and December, and numbers increased over last year’s holiday selling season.

“We feel very confident going into the new year that things will continue to look up for us,” said Palacios, whose store is entering its 48th year in business with continued, strong support from the community.

Once Upon a Time offered significant post-Christmas sales and hosted a festive all-day New Year’s Eve sale before it closed down for inventory. Customers enjoyed snacks and drinks and large discounts on both holiday merchandise and books.

Several standout titles that flew off the store’s shelves included A Very Fuddles Christmas by Frans Vischer (Aladdin), who visited the store for an event, as well asI Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (Hachette), Tequila Mockingbird by Tim Federle (Running Press), and Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle (Chronicle).

Gulliver’s Books [6] in Fairbanks, Alaska, had strong sales throughout the holiday season and saw a slight increase in online sales. Owner Christy Wiskeman found that the store did very well with local authors throughout November and December. “We had several local authors come out with books right at the beginning of the month that were very popular,” she explained.

Gulliver’s hosted two successful sales during the holiday season: a used book sale leading up to Thanksgiving and the other on Small Business Saturday weekend. Both were well received by customers, said Wiskeman.

At Readers’ Books [7], in Sonoma, California, sales were up over last year, said store co-owner Andy Weinberger, but more noticeably, there seemed to be a shift in consumer behavior. “I think there is an increased understanding of the need to shop local,” said Weinberger. “People seem to be getting the message.” Yesterday, Readers’ held its annual New Year’s Day party, which offers customers a 50 percent discount on calendars and free refreshments.“It’s basically an excuse for people who don’t like football to come by,” said Weinberger.

In Durango, Colorado, “it was like Christmas caught everyone by surprise this year,” said Andrea Avantaggio, co-owner of Maria’s Bookshop [8], which saw an increase in sales during the two weeks before Christmas.

“We all noticed lots of appreciation” among customers who were happy to have a local bookstore to shop in, said Avantaggio. They included many out-of-town customers who waited to do their book shopping while visiting Durango. “I heard lots of concern about the loss of their own local bookstores and the health of ours,” she said. “It was really very touching and made all of us feel valued in a very special way.”

Big sellers at Maria’s this season –– in addition to the Local First Durango “Buy Local” coupon book –– were Santa Is Coming to Durango by Steve Smallman (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky); I Could Pee on This: and Other Poems by Cats by Francesco Marciuliano (Chronicle Books); Dead Run: The Murder of a Lawman and the Greatest Manhunt of the Modern American West by Dan Schultz (St. Martin’s Press); The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon by Kevin Fedarko (Scribner); and Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2’s Deadliest Day by Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan (W.W. Norton & Company). “Lots of local interest on that list,” said Avantaggio.

At Hockessin Book Shelf [9] in Hockessin, Delaware, sales were up over last year’s fourth quarter, said owner Rebecca Dowling. A surprising standout title throughout the holidays was The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter (Little, Brown).

On New Year’s Eve, Hockessin hosted “Books and Baubles,” a two-hour shopping event in partnership with a local jeweler that offered jewelry and new books at a 30 percent discount. Though the store was closed on New Year’s Day, the event on the eve was a way for Hockessin to get a head-start on one of its New Year’s resolutions, said Dowling, which is to partner with more businesses in the area.

At Acorn Books [10] in Dover, Delaware, which opened in the fourth quarter of 2012, “it was encouraging to see consistent sales,” said co-owner Ginny Jewell. “Customers were encouraging one another to shop local this year and telling us about it,” she said. “It seemed that Small Business Saturday was just the start of the local shopping season this year as opposed to last year when it was the one day they did it.”

In keeping with that trend, local books did well this year, said Jewell, adding that anything with “Delaware” in the title sold well, as well as books published by Arcadia, which represents local authors and subjects. Additionally, Acorn sold 65 copies of The Beach: Wildlife, Nature, and the Beauty of Coastal Delaware (Portfolio Books), a large, high-ticket art book by local photographer Kevin Fleming. “This shows just how much local authors and subjects are on the rise this season.”

Looking ahead, Jewell plans to increase Acorn’s inventory, strengthen its web presence, and tighten the store’s mission statement to make sure the community knows what Acorn Books stands for. The bookstore has plans in the works to partner with local poets and authors. ”It’s an exciting time for us,” said Jewell.Sydney Jarrard and Elizabeth Knapp [11]

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Gannon Pest Control Earns Esteemed 2013 Angie’s List Super Service Award

CONGRATULATIONS to SyracuseFirst Family member Gannon Pest Control!!

Gannon Pest Control Earns Esteemed2013 Angie’s List Super Service Award
Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

For the Third consecutive year, Gannon Pest Control has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the consumer review service in 2013.

About the award, Gannon Pest Control Vice President, Jennifer Savastino, said “We are honored to receive this award for the third year in a row. As a locally owned and operated company, we are dedicated to giving our community the most effective customer service we can.”

“Only about 5 percent of the companies Gannon Pest Control competes with in Central New York region are able to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a mark of consistently great customer service.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2013 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, have a fully complete profile, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2013 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on


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Learn How to Fix Your Bike @ Mello Velo Bike Shop

2014 PARK TOOL SCHOOL Schedule! @Mello Velo

Back again by popular demand! The Park Tool School, a bicycle repair and maintenance course designed specifically for the home mechanic, taught by your very own professional mechanics and Mello Velo! The method of instruction is a mixture of lecture, demonstration, and hands-on labs — plus we keep you caffeinated and/or well fed!

We have restructured our a classes a bit and are proud to offer a few new courses and additional session times! So if you’ve always wanted to learn how to fix your own bike — or know someone who does — now’s your chance to learn (or give the perfect gift for the holidays)!

Below are descriptions of our classes and tentative dates, but if there are specific requests, we can tailor a class to your skill level and interests. Just stop by, shoot us an email, or call.

Courses offered:

FLAT FIX CLINIC (one 1.5-hour session): $19.99 — Includes 1 cafe drink of your choice + 25% off tools. Make it aDeluxe package for $59.99 and you’ll get a Serfas Seatbag CK-4 Repair Kit (a $50 value) in addition.

Do you want to learn how to fix a flat tire? What causes flats and how to prevent them? Learn the basics of bicycle maintenance as we go over tire and tube service on different types of bikes.

INTRO TO BIKE MAINTENANCE (one 6-hour session -OR- three 2-hour sessions): $95.99 — Includes Park Tool’sBig Book of Bicycle Repair (a $24.99 value) + 25% off tools and either: 1 cafe lunch of your choice + coffee (6-hr session) –OR– 3 cafe drinks of your choice (2-hr sessions). Make it a Deluxe package for $349.99 and you’ll get aPark Tool Shop Apron and the Park Tool AK-37 Tool Kit (a $375 value) in addition.

Get your hands dirty learning critical maintenance tips and more. This class builds upon the basics like bike “anatomy”, tire and tube service, and when and where to lubricate your bike. See demonstrations, discuss and perform brake service, and simple gear adjustments. Areas of the bike that will be discussed:

  • Tire and Tube Service
  • Bike Cleaning and Washing
  • Lubrication
  • Cable Tension: Derailleur Systems and Rim Caliper Brake Systems Overview
  • Hub, Rear Sprockets & Headsets Overview
  • Chains, Cranks & Bottom Brackets Overview
  • Safety Check
  • On-Ride Repairs and Bike Wash

INTERMEDIATE BIKE MAINTENANCE (two 5-hour sessions): $124.99 — Includes Park Tool’s Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair (a $24.99 value) + 25% off tools, and 2 cafe lunches of your choice. Make it a Deluxe package for$374.99 and you’ll get a Park Tool Shop Apron and the Park Tool AK-37 Tool Kit (a $375 value) in addition.

This class will cover content similar to the basic shop tune-up. This class is a great option for someone who has tried basic repairs. Students should have some familiarity with the topics presented, but not necessarily have experience. Areas of the bike that will be discussed:

  • Basic Bicycle Maintenance
  • Tires & Tubes
  • Hub, Rear Sprockets & Headsets
  • Wheel Truing & Pedals
  • Chains, Cranks & Bottom Brackets
  • Derailleur Systems
  • Rim Caliper Brake Systems
  • Caliper Disc Brake Systems
  • Frame & Fork, Suspension
  • On-Ride Repairs and Bike Wash

BASIC WHEEL TRUING (one 1-2-hour session): $19.99 — Includes 1 cafe drink of your choice + 25% off tools. Take both Basic Wheel Truing and Wheel Building classes for the combo price of $60.

Rims, Hubs, Spokes, Nipples — oh my! Learn the basics of wheel truing and spoke replacement, plus on-the-go tips and tricks.


WHEEL BUILDING (one 2-3-hour session): $49.99 — Includes 1 cafe drink of your choice + 25% off tools. Take bothWheel Building and Basic Wheel Truing classes for the combo price of $60.

This class has been often requested. Dreaming of building your own wheelset? Starting from component selection and calculation, to lacing, tensioning, truing, and dishing — build a wheel hands-on. Students are required to take the Basic Wheel Truing Class, or should otherwise be able to demonstrate proficiency. Wheel deals for those who want to build a pair of wheels to take home.

2014 Course Schedule:
Group Size is limited to 5 per session, REGISTER NOW (email or call 315-307-3104) to reserve your spot!

Clinics offered MONDAYS 5:30-7pm, on the following dates:

  • January: 6, 27
  • February: 3, 24
  • March: 3, 17

One 6-hour Session: Sunday, January 19, 10am-4pm (or)
Three 2-hour Sessions: TUESDAYS 5:30-7:30pm, on the following dates:

  • [Group Session One] January: 7, 14, 21
  • [Group Session Two] February: 4, 11, 18

Two 5-hour Sessions on SUNDAYS, 10am-3pm, on the following dates:

  • [Group Session One] February: 2, 9
  • [Group Session Two] March: 2, 9

THURSDAY, February 6, 5:30-7:30pm

THURSDAY, February 13, 5:30-8:30pm




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Syracuse Guru Holiday Gift Guide: Over 70 Top Picks

Hi everyone, it’s the Syracuse Guru. Many of you have probably seen my website but if not, we’re an independent media site serving the Syracuse and CNY region. In helping SyracuseFirst celebrate the many local independent businesses and giving you some real ways to make the 10% Shift; here are 5 top picks from my comprehensive holiday gift guide. All of these items are from local companies. Without further adieu, here they are!

1. Café Kubal Coffee Items: Stop in any of Café Kubal’s locations and pick up everything you need to give the gift of perfect pour-over coffee at home. You’ll need a Bee House dripper and a stainless steel pour-over kettle. Check out the Orange Gingersnap syrup as well. Get it at any Kubal location (Directions).

2. Beak and Skiff’s 1911 Spirits: The ultimate gift for the local liquor aficionado, 1911 Spirits has several kinds of ciders but the gin is by far the best of the bunch. It’s a pure tasting, sharp bite of juniper with enough kick for even the most seasoned booze fan. It’s above 80 proof and tastes delicious on its own, in a martini, or in a gin and tonic with local flare. Get it at Beak and Skiff (Directions) or most liquor stores.

3. Everyday Bow Ties: The finest locally made bow ties. Everyday Bow Ties specialized in beautifully crafted bow ties for everyday life. I own one and I can tell you that the craftsmanship is fantastic. Get it here.

4. City Dining Cards: 50 cards in a deck and each one takes $10 off food bills of $30 or more. It’s a simple but brilliant concept that makes coupons cool again. The Syracuse 2013-2014 deck came out recently. When you order them use the GURU coupon code and get FREE shipping. Get it here.

5. Sweet Praxis: Sweet Praxis makes a wide assortment of baked goods but the real highlight is the traditional French macaron. Get a gift certificate, edible macaron ornaments, or a box of seasonal macarons. See their Facebook page for more info. Email to order!

Read the rest of my guide featuring over 70 items at!


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Per-person income in Syracuse area rises faster than national average in 2012

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Glenn Coin | By Glenn Coin |
November 29, 2013

Syracuse, N.Y. — The per-person income in the Syracuse area rose by 3.7 percent last year, better than the 3.3 average nationally, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The average income per person in 2012 in the Syracuse area was $41,774. That’s up from the $40,273 per-person average the year before, according to the latest numbers released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Syracuse ranked No. 117 out of the nation’s 318 metropolitan areas.

The average incomes are computed by taking the entire amount of personal income earned in the Syracuse area and dividing it by the total population. The Syracuse area consists of Onondaga, Madison and Oswego counties.

Other Upstate metropolitan areas that beat the national average were Glens Falls, Rochester and Ithaca.

Oil and gas drilling boosted revenues in parts of Texas and North Dakota. The fastest growing region for personal income was Midland, Texas, with 12.1 percent growth.

In New York, Manhattan had the highest per-capita income, with $119,347. The lowest among the state’s 62 counties was Allegany County, with $30,368. Here’s how Central New York counties rank:

17. Onondaga County, $44,700
41. Cayuga County, $37,228
45. Madison County, $36,298
52. Cortland County, $34,639
55: Oswego County, $33,803

Contact Glenn Coin at or 315-470-3251. Follow him on Twitter @glenncoin

© 2013 All rights reserved.

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