Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Don't Be A Grinch This Christmas! Shop Local!

Biz Buzz By Dianne Lively Yost Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one of my all-time-favorite holiday stories! That sour old grumpy, green Grinch pops on the scene as anti-friend and anti-community as it gets. He’s bad-mood personified. An angry victim out for revenge! No doubt if the Grinch were a real live person (and I know some that come right close), he’d definitely be an impersonal shopper. He’d do most of his shopping online, in a big-box discount store or better yet – in a hectic, scary-packed shopping mall. That’s because the Grinch just doesn’t like community. Period. He looks through reality from the blurry, mud-caked glasses of an isolated outcast. That is . . . until the end of the story. In Morgan County, so many of us have jumped on the buy local, eat local movement. We know that by supporting our local businesses and farmers, we support our entire community. Our home. Our friends. Our cities. Our towns. Our tourism industry. Our very livelihood. I work with a family owned business just like many of our local retailers, restaurants and service businesses. One of my job’s great perks is that I personally know many of the people who own and operate our local businesses. I know their families. Heck, I know some of their secrets and they know some of mine. I know about their challenges and their triumphs and they know mine. That’s because we’re friends in this community. We’re all in this together! In a place at 33.3900° N, 83.4900° W on the great and beautiful planet earth. Morgan County. Drive around. It just doesn’t get much better than this y’all. We are so blessed with a beautiful countryside, wonderful and interesting towns and one-of-a-kind shopping and dining destinations. There are more than 18,000 people in our county. That’s a lot of buying power right there – power to keep our businesses vital and growing. So we’ve got to bank local. Insure local. Dentist and doctor local. Auto maintenance local. Hair salon local (talk about secrets). Chamber local. Newspaper local. Yoga local. Acupuncture local (yes that’s available in Rutledge). Movie local. Real estate local. Chiropractor local. And most of all SHOP LOCAL. It’s so important. I know you might not find every single thing on the Christmas list at home, but you can certainly find most it! Trust me! All you have to do is check out what your Local Morgan County shops have to offer. This is Thanksgiving week. Let’s give thanks to our community. But, better yet show thanks to your community by shopping and supporting local businesses. Black Friday? Make it green and Go Local. Small Business Saturday. GO LOCAL! It’s a no-brainer for the entire Holiday season and beyond! Make your dollars support your local economy. The cool thing is that you’ll be shopping among friends. In your community. Your home. It’s fun! And, that ole Grinch? Well in the end he found out about the spirit of Christmas. That it doesn’t come from a store. He found out it means a little bit more. Christmas comes from community. With family. With friends. So this year, shop local. Make Christmas mean a little bit more. Shop Local Guide: Our local shops and restaurants are offering fun promotions to add to the Christmas cheer. Madison’s Main Street program even has a promotion to commemorate Small Business Saturday on Nov. 29 with a Spend $29 on the 29th campaign. All day long, any time you spend $29 or more at a shop, salon or restaurant in downtown Madison you can enter to win one of two $100 Downtown Dollar prizes! But, don’t forget our shops throughout Morgan County! Check out specials our Morgan County retailers are offering in this week’s newspaper!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Shopping local in Downtown Madison has never been so good!

I just had to try out my new camera and create a cool slideshow to show off great shopping destinations in downtown Madison! I could only fit in a few and will add more next week! Check it out and stay tuned!
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Biz Buzz vs. Rutledge Rooster

Biz Buzz By Dianne Lively Yost Biz Buzz sleeps and snores into the early night before dawn. Zzzzzz-Zzzzz-hugggGGggh-Ppbhgha-zZZzzzz . . . BuzzzzzZZZZaah. . . zZZ . . . What? Where? Who am I? “Cock-a-Ding-Dang-Dooo! Cock-a-Ding-Dang-Dooo!” Oh my ever livin’ gosh! It’s that cacklin’ red Rutledge Rooster and he’s mad as a wet hen in a snowstorm ‘cause the Citizen printed the wrong ding dang Rutledge Rooster column in last week’s paper! Lord have Mercy! He’s got that Looney Tunes Foghorn Leghorn with ‘em to translate: “Now what - I say what’s the big idea. Biz Buzz, you gotta mouth – I say a mouth like a canon. Always shootin’ it off.” Momma! Come slap Foghorn flat off my front porch before I throw a hizzy fit! That’s right y’all! The Citizen got all mixed up like a feather in a whirlwind last week! I still can’t think straight! So y’all be sure to check out the correct monthly Rutledge Rooster Page in this week’s Citizen! And, be nice to Roosters . . . Rutledge Roosters that is. What about those Hoop Dogs State Champs! What a game! Wow! Hoop it up y’all! And, be sure to look at every single one of the great advertisers who are supportin’ our Hoop Dogs in this week’s Citizen! It really says a lot about our community to get that many advertisers to participate in a section congratulating our great 2014 MCHS Basketball Team State Champs! Plus you can get some deals at Amici Italian Café and Madison Produce Company when you wear your Morgan County High School t-shirt! Check out those ads y’all! Ding dang is right! Plus y’all don’t forget to be at the 2014 Morgan County High School Basketball State Championship Parade this Friday, March 14 at 5:30 p.m. It’s gonna start at the Morgan County High School and end up in Town Park! Honey let’s cheer them on like nobody’s business! Hey bring your Citizen front-page section and have our champions sign it as a keepsake! Love it! Just so y’all know we’re also gonna turn that front section into a digital publication so it can live forever on our website (that gets 55,000 to 60,000 unique, individual visits monthly)! I just know y’all flat love our fabulous front page but I gotta confess: My handsome husband didn’t come up with that clever “Won Morgan” headline! It was none other than Madisonian Margaret Ligon who came up with the slogan and popped it on the Facebook machine! We called her up and she we could use it! You are a true fan Margaret! And, honey for that we’re gonna give you a free one-year subscription to the most-read, award-winnin’ newspaper in our region: The Morgan County Citizen! You are one lucky duck! Thanks! What’s the what? Tonight! March 13 form 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. That’s what! I’m talkin’ all ‘bout the Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce and its world famous Taste of Madison! It is gonna be super fantastic! It all takes place at The Hall at the Madison Morgan Cultural Center beginnin’ at 5:30 p.m. and honey there is something for EVERYONE! Tickets are only $20 and kids four to 12 are only $10! Oh and if you’re under three honey it’s flat free! Support your community! Support your Chamber! They are doing great things to drive jobs and tourism to Morgan County! All you’ve got to do is come to this important event and taste some delicious food from our famous restaurants! Hey and y’all check out the big fat full-page ad from Steak ‘N Shake in this week’s Citizen! They are now servin’ breakfast and are now open 24-hours a ding dang day! What? That’s right! When Momma wakes up at 3 a.m., she can flat head over to the fab and delish Steak ‘N Shake! Can’t beat it y’all! Oh and I flat near forgot! Theresa Bishop of BB&G located at 115 South Main Street in downtown Madison is holdin’ a Pandora Bracelet event March 20 – 25. You get a free bracelet with a purchase of $100 or more! Now that’s a deal! Shhhhhhh. Don’t look now y’all but hear comes Foghorn Leghorn again! “You gotta – I say you gotta keep on your mat. Yoga mat, that is.” Right! Y’all check out the ad in this week’s paper about our fabulous yoga instructor Bobby Robinson! He’s startin’ a free weekly community yoga and meditation class at the gym at Calvary Baptist Church on Tuesday nights at 6 p.m.! Be there! It’s flat free, I say! Plus it’s fun! Ding dang! I’m flat outta space! I’ll see all y’all next week!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Morgan County Citizen Leads in Print And Digital Market Reach

About that argument that the internet is taking over newspapers? PURE BALONEY! Our local newspaper is beating the internet at its own game. Not only is the Morgan County Citizen the most read print newspaper in Morgan County with 40,000+ readers each week, it also has the region’s largest website (www.morgancountycitizen.com) garnering 55,000+ individual visits EACH MONTH! And that does not even begin to reflect The Citizen’s exposure on social media platforms. The fact is this: The Morgan County Citizen has managed to be the Number One choice for print readers AND the Number One Choice for digital/web readers for local news. Facts are where the real truth resides. When you think it through, it’s really not that surprising. Where are people going to get their news about the Madison, Bostwick or Rutledge City Councils, local legal announcements, school board news or Morgan County High School's wrestling tournament? There's only one source: The Morgan County Citizen. Sure, regional papers and radio stations have stories about our county. But for the uber local coverage local readers crave? It’s the Citizen. As to the internet: You had best know what the Sam Hill you are doing before launching a digital- platform-only marketing campaign. Especially if you are a local business depending on local customers. Consider this: “The amount of content being published online is growing exponentially and content marketers are partially to blame. In June of 2000, there were fewer than eight million websites. Today that number is greater than 750 million, according to Netcraft.com, and shows no signs of slowing down. This means that it will be harder and harder for marketers to cut through the noise in order to get their content read. Great content goes unread everyday on the Internet.” – Social Media Today Beyond websites, social media is becoming more and more cluttered and fragmented, making it just as difficult to reach a sustainable target audience. The net-net is this: Businesses -- especially those who rely on local consumers for 30 percent or more of their sales -- must create a marketing plan that incorporates a myriad mix of message delivery vehicles from newspapers to digital platforms. But, you have to be smart or you’ll waste your money. Only select the delivery systems with the highest consumer reach for your target audience. And, don’t forget: You still can’t beat a personal meeting, a hand-written note or friendly lunch meeting. Relationships require a variety of communications! Dianne Lively Yost is Co-owner of The Morgan County Citizen and Lake Oconee Living Magazine. She is also a seasoned public relations and marketing professional with a career that spans 30 years.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Biz Buzz Mother's Day! Shop, Shop, Shop Local!

Biz Buzz By Dianne Lively Yost It’s Mother’s Day season and y’all know what that means: Somebody’s handsome husband had best take his credit cards shoppin’ and hit all the local shops! Y’all check out the fab Mother’s Day page in this week’s newspaper and the Rutledge Page for some great gift ideas! Whidby Jewelers owner Ben Whidby wanted me to tell y’all all ‘bout his great Mother’s Day promotion with his fab Chamilia line of charms and bracelets and more! Anyhow, the deal is this: When you spend $99 on Chamilia products you’ll get a beautiful tote bag valued at more than $65! Wow! Momma’s gonna want that y’all! Plus Ben’s got all kinds of great new jewelry lines in the shop and my fave is the new CoLore | SG line (it used to be called Lorenzo) and the new jewelry is the Fusion Collection! Y’all are gonna flip when you see it! Get over to Whidby Jewelers located at 177 West Jefferson St., right smack across from Town Park! Love it! Oh and check out the Whidby Jewelers ad on the Mother’s Day page! Listen y’all: Nothin’ says Happy Mother’s Day better than a gift certificate from Pure Bliss! Owner Julie Speyer is offerin’ lots of cool discounts for that special mom! Check out her ad on the Mother’s Day Page and take a look at all the relaxin’ ways you can show Momma the love! I sure hope my three kids are flat payin’ attention! Honey MeeMaw loves turquoise jewelry like nobody’s business! I’m talkin’ rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, belt buckles and more honey get over to Artisan Alley right smack down from Whidby Jewelers at 199 West Jefferson St., in Madison! They also have great t-shirts, pottery (the bacon cooker is oh-so-cool), art, scarves . . . The list goes on! Check it out y’all! If your momma is nuts ‘bout fashion, honey check out Barkin’ Dogs Shoe Co. and Amelia’s located at 172 South Main Street in downtown Madison! They have so many great fashions to choose from! Check out those fantastic sandals in the Barkin’ Dogs ad! I NEED THEM! Oh and check out the Brighton flips! I’VE ALREADY BOUGHT MY PAIR! Love, love, love it! Honey and my Momma loves Pandora charms, bracelets, necklaces and earrings and the place to find it is at Belles, Beaux & Gifts located at 115 South Main Street in downtown Madison across from the post office! I just love poppin’ in there to see all the beautiful Pandora and fabulous things for the table and home! Plus owner Theresa Bishop has a great sales table in the back! Y’all get over there immediately and check it all out! Oh and don’t forget Perk Avenue is havin’ a fantastic Mother’s Day Celebration on Sunday with Baked Ham or Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Squash Casserole and homemade yeast rolls! Plus Momma gets a free dessert! Love it! Y’all head over there at 111 West Jefferson St. on Mother’s Day for a great lunch! Can’t wait! Meanwhile, the Mother’s Day Rooster is callin’ from Rutledge to make sure we all know ‘bout the great Mother’s Day ideas at LilyBeth’s like those fabulous indoor/outdoor pillows and shotgun earrings! I just love this shop! Check it out located at 106 West Main St., in downtown Rutledge! Reflections Salon in Rutledge can fix Momma’s hair just right for this Mother’s Day weekend celebration! Book me immediately! Plus you’ll get $5 off any service! Call 404-863-2555! Can’t beat beauty! Hey and Yesterday’s Café, located at 120 Fairplay Street, in downtown Rutledge is always a great choice for a Mother’s Day celebration and owner Kris Bray says Momma’s get a free slice of heaven dessert! What? That’s right y’all! Go get it! Oh and if Momma’s wantin’ a more casual flair this Mother’s Day, The Caboose in Rutledge has the best ding dang Reuben sandwich there ever WAS! And, I ain’t lyin’! But, honey if Momma wants y’all to grill her up a supper, get over to Neighbor’s Market in downtown Rutledge and buy her the best ding dang steaks you’ll ever find! Love it! Did you feel that? Honey there’s lots of movin’ and shakin’ goin’ on over at The Co-Op of Rutledge! I was in there the other day and about had a fit! Honey there have been lots of changes and now the Co-Op is sellin’ antiques, art, dinnerware, floor cloths and fabulous plants! I’ll have more on the Rutledge Co-Op next week ‘cause I’ve flat got to scat! Y’all check out the Rutledge Page in this week’s Citizen! But before I go, there’s a new realtor in town! That’s right! Ok so husband and wife team Allen and Julie McGinnis have opened McGinnis Realty & Appraisals located at 135 West Washington St., in Madison and y’all are gonna love their new office! They completely renovated the interior of the space and added fresh paint and a new awning to the exterior! It looks fab! McGinnis Realty also operates an office in Monticello! Check them out at www.mcginnisrealtyga.com! That’s it for the Biz Buzz y’all! Be good to Momma and I don’t mean maybe, shop local ‘cause it’ll mean more to Momma and have a beautiful weekend! I’ll see all y’all next week!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Biz Buzz By Dianne Lively Yost Lord have mercy! Momma’s foot stompin’, fire spittin’, head spinnin’ mad as all get out! Sassy Sista’s done talked PawPaw into takin’ Momma’s credit card away! That dang Sassy Sista told him Momma and I were participatin’ in too much exorbitant, superfluous spendin’! Why I oughta . . . Just wait til I get hold of that measly meddlin’ Sassy Sista! First Momma’s gonna slap her to Sunday then I’m gonna jerk a knot in her chain! Anyhow, all hell’s done broke loose at the home place! I’m talkin’ grandma’s china’s gettin’ slammed against the fireplace and Momma’s on a cookin’ strike! Talk ‘bout a budget battle! No biscuits! No grits! No crispy fried chicken! It don’t get no worse off than that! Hey! Y’all wipe despair-ish look off your ding dang face ‘cause the Biz Buzz has a bona fide solution! We’re gonna spike Sassy Sista’s UGA Tailgate Party Cola this weekend before the Tennessee game with some of Momma’s super rare Whippin Whiplash White Lightnin’! Sassy Sista’ll get so shnockered she’ll make Cooter Brown look like the Queen of England! Then she’ll get busted by the Athens Police! Can’t wait! More details next week . . . In the meantime, I’ve done found PawPaw’s Mad Money Stash! TOUCHDOWN! And just in time too ‘cause honey lots of new businesses are flat poppin’ up all over the place! Well don’t just stand there! Put down those peanuts and LET’S GO! First stop is Dixie Seafood which is openin’ at 10 a.m. this Thursday! Ok so they’re located on Hancock Street next to the Madison-Morgan Courthouse in downtown Madison! Right! So I had to pop in there today to check it all out and honey owners Lori Sheldon and Kevin Power have got it goin’ on! Plus a lot of the seafood they’re sellin’ was caught by them! Honey Lori is an expert lobster catcher! I kid you not y’all . . . these lobsters were caught local honey! And, they’ve got lots of it! In fact, my son Harrison has requested lobster for his 14th birthday bash supper this weekend! Yum! Ok! So they’re also gonna have fresh shrimp from the Georgia Coast, crab and all sorts of fresh fish! I flat can’t wait to get my lobsters! Y’all go check it out Thursday and over the weekend! Next up is The Hub in downtown Madison located at 125 West Washington St., in downtown Madison next to Scoops! Y’all won’t believe this but I swear I just popped in there and have already picked out the perf, perf, perf winter poncho! Owner Shirley Northrop, who has an extensive retail background in Highlands, N.C., has got this shop lookin’ fantastic! I love it! Y’all have got to check it out! It’s slated to open Wednesday or Thursday or this week! Honey, The Hub even has FUR! I’m talkin’ vests, hats, scarves and more! Plus it has women’s pants, skirts, tops and more! Y’all get over there this week and check it all out! You’re gonna LOVE IT! Right so! The next new business is The Barn At Oakleaf Farm! Ok so I know y’all remember that fabulous Say Yes! wedding magazine by Lake Oconee Living that we published in February! Well the cover wedding took place at The Barn At Oakleaf Farm and honey they got so much exposure and interest from future brides from the Say Yes! wedding magazine that they are now transforming the barn into a beautiful rustic wedding destination! Owner Lissa Phelps is partnerin’ with Hundred Acre Farms to make the barn a highly demanded wedding and event venue! Ok so we’re all gonna get to see this beautiful space for ourselves on Sunday, Oct. 7 from 1 p.m. til 5 p.m. for an Open House! The Barn At Oakleaf Farm is located at 2230 Sandy Creek Road in Madison! Y’all can get directions from their beautiful website at www.oakleafbarn.com! I can’t wait for this open house! Check out their ad in this week’s Citizen! Oh and they are gonna offer a wedding tasting by Beyond Details and wedding cakes by Sweet Afternoons! Say Yes . . . to the Open House at the Barn at Oakleaf Farm! See you there! And, speakin’ of Say Yes! . . . We are currently gettin’ ready for the 2013 wedding issue that will come out in January! Oh and the premium advertising pages are all OPEN so y’all give us a call at 706-342-7440 to reserve the back, inside front and other premium spots! Oh and to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, The Spa at the James Madison is offering a complimentary 30-minute spa service (facial, massage, manicure or pedicure) to breast cancer survivors on Oct. 16! So make your reservation and celebrate life and good health at the spa! The Spa at the James Madison is located in the Madison Markets campus at 218 West Washington St. in Madison and you can call them at 706-342-7000! Dang! Outta time. Outta space. Y’all be real sugary sweet to Momma! And, I’ll see all y’all next week with lots and lots of fantastic Biz Buzz!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Art, Artists and Art Lovers Gather at Town 220!

Last night was the opening exhibit of Aislin's Bouquet From the Garden of the Fall. Celebrating the Garden as metaphor and inspiration. This exhibit will be on display at Town 220 in Madison, Ga., until Jan. 29, 2011 and is a must-see exhibit of fantastic art! Exhibiting Artists: Greg Benson, Andy Cherewick, Tex Crawford, Dana Downs, Erin Duncun, Ryan Griffin, Ann Hamlin, Steve Hinton, Matt Holcomb, Don Jolley, Robert Lowery, David Jenkins, Mary Frances Flanders, Mary Leslie, Melin Foscue Miller, Masakatsu Nakagawa, Barbara Odil, Marshall Reddoch, Brian Reade, Father Anthony Salzman, Sam Seawright, Jeanne Wesson and Lamar Wood! The slide show below does not do this exhibit justice. You must see it for yourself! You'll be so glad you did!