'Shop Local' site to help Palo Alto shoppers shop

Website lists all local businesses, provides coupons, special offers, menus and customer reviews

A new program to connect Palo Alto shoppers with local businesses launched Friday at The new website -- a directory of nearly all businesses in Palo Alto -- features profiles of companies, special offers and coupons, restaurant menus, photos, maps, event announcements and more. is a collaboration of the Palo Alto Weekly, Palo Alto Online, the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce, Hometown Peninsula and the City of Palo Alto. Its aim is to raise awareness of the products and services offered by local merchants and their importance to the vitality of the community.

More than 900 Palo Alto businesses have already created their profiles or posted information in preparation for the launch of the site.

"We are excited to launch what will be the most comprehensive and interactive local business directory available anywhere," said Bill Johnson, publisher of the Palo Alto Weekly.

"While there are many other attempts at business directories out there, none offer either residents or business owners the breadth of features of," Johnson said. "And none are supported by the marketing reach of the local newspaper and the dominant community website."

With, any business physically located in Palo Alto can create a free profile, including photos, product offerings, coupons, links to its website, gift certificates and much more. Businesses can promote their special events, create additional web pages and sell merchandise online. Restaurants can upload their menus. A verification process helps to ensure the greatest possible accuracy of the content.

Local residents can search for businesses by name or category, display profiles with maps and contact information, browse special offers of all merchants, buy gift certificates and post comments about individual businesses.

New offers or updates to a business's profile can be quickly spotted through a news feed on the site.

A multimedia marketing campaign will promote through the Weekly, with its 70,000 readers; Palo Alto Online, with more than 130,000 unique visitors each month; and Express, the news digest e-mailed to more than 13,000 people each day.

In addition to, similar sites are also being launched in Menlo Park ( and Mountain View ( Users of any of the sites can choose to search for businesses in the other communities as well.

The "shop local" movement is gaining visibility and supporters throughout the nation, as studies have shown that communities benefit more from dollars spent close to home. In addition to keeping sales-tax revenue in the community to support the schools and other programs, 68 percent of the money spent at a locally owned business remains in the community, compared to only 43 percent for national chain-store purchases, research has shown.

"This initiative will not only help connect local residents with local businesses, it will educate residents on why locally owned businesses are so important to the character, attractiveness and economic vitality of the community," said Clark Kepler, president and founder of Hometown Peninsula, one of the sponsors of and an alliance of locally owned businesses.

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1 person likes this
Posted by Nowhere to shop
a resident of Southgate
on Sep 17, 2010 at 9:38 am

Too bad there is nowhere to really shop at in Palo Alto. Large grocery stores are surrounding cities. Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Kohl's, Sports Authority, Ikea and all other decent sized retailers are not to be found in PA. Sorry, but I cannot afford to shop in the overpirced boutique store and at Stanford Shopping Center. Maybe those council members, "neighborhood leaders" and NIMBYists who have scared away everyday retail from PA can afford to shop in town.

Like this comment
Posted by PA is more than the Stanford Shopping Center
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 17, 2010 at 9:58 am

If you can't afford the Stanford Shopping Center, then don't shop there. There are more affordable stores along El Camino (e.g. Frys), California Ave., and even downtown (especially off of University Ave.).

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Posted by Nowhere to shop
a resident of Southgate
on Sep 17, 2010 at 10:06 am

"There are more affordable stores along El Camino (e.g. Frys), California Ave., and even downtown (especially off of University Ave.)."
Besides Fry's, what stores in PA are like Target, Wal-Mart, Kohl's, Sports Authority and Ikea in PA?

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Posted by About time!
a resident of another community
on Sep 20, 2010 at 4:52 pm

This is a great new service!

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Posted by Marie
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 21, 2010 at 10:07 am

Well if you can't afford Palo Alto's pricey boutiques COME TO EAST PALO ALTO! The East Palo Alto Ravenswood Gateway 101 Retail Center is a blend of HGTV and fantastic all around great buys!

Mi Pueblo Food Center - best fresh fruit/veggies,prepared foods, and outstanding butcher/fresh fish counter - gotta try it!

California Bank and Trust - the best personal banking services on the peninsula - tons of smiles

Togo's/Baskin Robbins - no faster lunch service anywhere, weekly ice cream specials

Starbucks - a Magic Johnson's urban franchise, great coffee/great place to be

Best Buy - they know their stuff, a breeze to buy anything there, lots of Apple products, great prices

Office Depot - Super sales, UPS shipping, printing, they fixed my laptop that crashed. Great emergency computer service.

Six to Nine Dental - Did I say painless? Modern office, great for kids, great appoinment hours. Did I say painless?

New Thai Basil Resturant - Yum Yum from Sunnyvale opening soon

Jamba Juice - Healthy refreshing juices, sandwiches, hot oatmeal

Fire House Grill - Watch sports at a super bar, superb lemon drop cocktail, clam chowder, tasty appetizers great place to be.

Nordstrom Rack - Yes! first class apperal in EPA Up to 70% savings weekly specials, check that parking lot, can't get a space

Sports Authority - Sports equipment, the right clothes and shoes

Home Depot - Where the sales staff are available to help - Orange aprons everywhere. Jelwen windows on sale for $115! Help to load your purchases, quick self check out. Homeowners dream location.

Oceana - Kiosk grill. The best hot sandwiches, breakfast, smoothies

Taco Bell - Pizza Hut - says it all

McDonalds - one of the most successful on the peninsula, same owners as the one at Stanford, famous chicken nuggets, sweet tea for $1

IKEA - is an acronym for owners names. 297,000 square feet of specially designed space saving funiture and kitchens. You gotta go!
Two resturants, hot sweet cinnamon rolls, Full breakfast and dinners for $1.99, kids love it - come see the great view! East Palo Alto University Plaza 200,000+ sq ft of Class A office space and ground floor retail - oh you just wait!

or try Univeristy Circle East Palo Alto
SF Soup - 5-8 hot gourmet soups salad and sandwiches
Lunch Lunch - same deal great gourmet lunch

Four Seasons Hotel East Palo Alto - Okay little pricey, but the service/location is first class. Spa, Quattro bar, and now the premier wedding location of the peninsula. The place to be. Did I say East Palo Alto?

So come to East Palo Alto - Shop Local Local Bargins

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Posted by Nowhere to shop
a resident of Southgate
on Sep 21, 2010 at 10:20 am

I bet you that Palo Alto cannot believe that there are all these great shopping choices in the city that Palo Alto likes to look down their nose at. Palo Alto has done a good job in keeping useful retail out of the city--now they are paying the price. Shop in surrounding cities--give them the tax revenue.

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Posted by so sad
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 21, 2010 at 11:29 am

This town is so sad. So serious, earnest and hyper-educated... yet can't see that all the surrounding cities are capitalizing on our navel-gazing and laughing all the way to the bank.

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Posted by Citizen One
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 22, 2010 at 4:32 pm

East Palo Alto, great job of developing useful retail in your city. A place I remember afraid to shop. Now, I can barely find parking to shop. Since Palo Alto proper refuses to develop useful family centered retail, a short ride over to East Palo Alto can't hurt... only our precious sales tax - Palo Alto how stupid.

Like this comment
Posted by Julie Triano
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 27, 2011 at 9:32 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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