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A Startup Designed to Keep Local Business Alive

By Columns FOXBusiness

We’re highlighting small businesses from around the country as nominated by you, our readers. If your favorite small business is using Twitter to communicate with customers, let us know about it @fbsmallbiz with the hashtag #mysbc, and it may be featured as an upcoming Small Business of the Day.

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Small Business of the Day:  Branches Professional Services Provider

Who: Owners Jennifer Cochran, 39, and Shawn Cochran, 36, @branchespsp

What: A web and social media marketing company for small businesses

When: 2009

How: The Cochrans, a husband-and-wife team, both worked in the restaurant industry prior to the 2008 recession. They had toyed with the idea of opening up their own restaurant, but were struck by how many local mom-and-pop stores had been hard hit by the downturn in the economy.

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"There were just a rash of stores closing, and we are big supporters of small, local, independently-owned businesses," Jennifer said. "We were marketing people, and knew we could do something about it. We were sick of seeing small businesses close."

"Seeing all of the businesses closed on Main Street was our 'A-ha!' moment," Shawn added.

Where: Harrisburg, Pa.

Biggest lesson learned from a customer: "Small businesses are made up of individuals—our friends, neighbors and families," Jennifer said. "We look at them as people, and that's how we approach our clients. We also empower them to do their best, and don't hold them hostage as a marketing company."

To view more Small Businesses of the Day, click our interactive map.

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