No matter what the nature of your business, you need to be aware of what is going on in your local economy. Even if you are a strictly online business and work with clients all over the globe, the trends of businesses in your community can have drastic effects on your company. Here's a few ways to keep apprised of local business news.
Chamber of Commerce
Join a local chamber of commerce for a direct way to ascertain who your local competition is and what methods they are using to grow their business. It's also a way to observe the local economic climate and find out who the people are that could assist you with various aspects of your business.
Get to know the "who's who" of your Chamber of Commerce and you'll have an in to the business news and information you need to build your business. Most chambers put out regular newsletters highlighting the events, trends and news for both their community and the business members. Leverage this information to keep your company growing.
County or City-Wide Publications
Contact your local businessman's association to see what publications exist for your business type. Make a habit of reading these magazines or journals every day to see what is happening with your market, the local economy and the businesses in your community.
Monitor online PR sources based on keywords that include your geographic location and your industry to see what business news is reported that could affect your company or the industry as a whole. Subscribe to RSS feeds from online press release sites like pr.com, pressrelease.com and 24-7 press release.com where thousands of businesses submit news every day. You'll be among the first to know what the hottest topics are in your industry.