BiG Local Club & BiG Local Fest

by | May 2024

NAVIGATING THE ins and outs of launching a successful business and building a recognizable brand is a daunting task. Most entrepreneurs would rather invest valuable time in creating the finest quality products and meeting the demands of potential customers than become bogged down in the nitty-gritty details. 

With this burden in mind, co-founder Wayne Hills enlisted his friend, Scott Wells, who worked for a major technology distributor, along with fellow entrepreneurs Amy Miller and the owners of South Cow, Patrick and Laurie McKinney. Together, they formed the BiG Local Club, and although Wayne’s wife, Miranda, and Amy’s husband, Eric, aren’t involved directly, their encouragement and unwavering support have helped tremendously. The leadership of the BiG Local Club offers 80 years of combined experience in marketing and retail sales and understands the steps to grow a thriving business.

Wayne explained, “I have 25 years of experience in sales and working with small businesses, as my family owned a small business during my early 20s. So, supporting local and small businesses is personal to me. Today, more so than ever, local businesses have more competition from out-of-state and out-of-country ‘Goliath’ competitors due to e-commerce or large chain stores that have scale on their side and a global reach.

“This exploits the lower cost of living in emerging markets, which reduces their labor and product costs, enabling these larger chain stores to keep prices lower. We founded the BiG Discount Club to fight back against this ever-growing Goliath in our community. By banding local businesses and community members together with a common goal of strengthening our community, we can support local entrepreneurs and our locally employed neighbors.”

Joining the BiG Local Club is easy. With several plans to choose from depending on your needs and budget, members immediately reap the benefits of a support system that currently includes 100 other business owners and a pool of consumers who are passionate about “supporting local.” As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, membership is tax deductible.

“At BiG Local Club, our mission is to empower and uplift our vibrant local businesses by providing essential resources like business education, grants, microloans, digital and print advertising opportunities, and business consulting,” said Wayne. “We also organize public and private events that bring together small businesses and Southern Kentucky consumers, which create positive change while forging stronger network connections and driving economic growth for our local community.”

Here’s what you need to know: 

Membership for Business Owners: Join the club for a nominal fee and gain access to a network of fellow entrepreneurs, resources, and exclusive events. Plus, be eligible for grants and microloans to help your business expand and explore new innovations. 

Consumer Perks: As a consumer, you can benefit from joining the BiG Local Rewards program, a product of the BiG Discount Club — a sister company. When you become a member, you’ll gain access to discounts on products and services offered by businesses in the network. This program is a win-win for both buyers and sellers. With the recent launch of their new app, members can now save even more with various discounts, freebies, and chances to win cash prizes. 

The BiG Local Event: A Beacon of Support 

The founders of the BiG Local Club are not content with merely creating a space for collaboration — they’re actively investing in the community. Enter the BiG Local Event, an annual gathering held in April that serves as a fundraising powerhouse offering an exciting kids zone packed with inflatables, over 60 vendors, 15 food trucks, three live bands, and Mortal Kombat on a 50-inch screen. 

This event funded: 

Grants and Microloans: Small businesses within the BiG Local Club network can apply for grants or microloans to fuel growth. This keeps funds within the community, provides jobs for our neighbors, and creates a stronger Bowling Green for all. 

Amplified Entrepreneurial Voices: Beyond financial support, the BiG Local Event provided a platform for up-and-coming entrepreneurs to showcase their products and services and spread the word about who they are and what they offer. They also connected face-to-face with potential customers, igniting a buzz about their products. 

The BiG Local Club isn’t just about dollars and cents. It’s about fostering a sense of community pride. When local businesses thrive, the entire neighborhood flourishes. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or a budding startup, the BiG Local Club and BiG Local Rewards App welcome you with open arms. Join the movement. Be part of something BiG. GN 

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