Cities Of Gold

Help local businesses make money from locals--online.
This story first appeared in the April 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe. is making a name for itself by making a name for small businesses interested in marketing their companies locally. The Internet franchise maintains online guides for more than 50,000 U.S. communities. With more than 700 U.S. franchise territories,'s mission is to localize the Internet and provide consumers with current local information, from news and weather to scores from baseball games.

According to Wolf Shlagman, president and CEO of, the franchise capitalizes on the fact that 20 million small businesses generate 80 percent of their revenues within a 10- to 20-mile radius. "Small businesses have really struggled with how to effectively use the Internet," Shlag-man says. "By providing up-to-date information online, businesses are able to target consumers locally."

Franchisees sell business owners premium placement in's categorized local directory, making it a sort of online Yellow Pages. also allows cus-tomers to print out coupons redeemable at particular local locations.

According to Shlagman, future plans include launching international territories and offering in French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. In addition to new territories, Shlagman also hopes to partner with media groups, national organizations and ISPs.

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