For all the technological strengths of your big-box and online foes, your small business possesses some good, old-fashioned strategic advantages that are keeping your peers atop the market. Meet four local businesses and see how they set themselves apart. ...

If your idea of holiday shopping is buying what a robot thinks you want, you’re missing out. We think there’s something irresistible about searching local stores for unique treasures. So, we tracked down a few ideas to help you get started. ...

If your idea of Christmas shopping is scouring the shopping strip, you’re missing out. A diverse collection of unique finds awaits at our region’s locally owned businesses. We show you the region's best stops. ...

Though she faces tough competition from big-box stores, Mary Behrens has established a competitive edge at her Crystal Lake store by winning over customers with price and selection. ...