McHenry County Savings Guide: Savings Close to Home

01 February 2011
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Published in Places
McHenry County Savings Guide founder Cindy Micha uses her background in advertising and marketing to help small businesses in McHenry County prosper and grow.

Cindy Micha likes helping small businesses grow by assisting them with customized advertising campaigns that are unique and affordable. “I have spent the last 19 years in marketing and truly enjoyed my time helping others build their businesses,” she said.

Today she’s realizing her own dreams as a business owner while helping like-minded entrepreneurs right in her own backyard through the McHenry County Savings Guide (MCSG). “My passion is to help small businesses and downtown districts grow,” she said. “I made it my goal to create something that would support our community – the locally owned and operated businesses, downtown districts, home-based businesses, mom-and-pop restaurants and health care professionals, as well as the residents they serve.”

MCSG, which is accessible at, is an online coupon and local business resource where residents can find countless offers for dining, shopping, kids, family fun, pet resources, health, fitness, beauty, home and auto services, hobbies and crafts that are all in their backyards.

The MCSG serves as more than a coupon site – it’s also a place where residents can learn about everything from a physician’s treatment programs or specialty services to a snapshot of a bakery’s unique desserts. “It’s a place that brings more awareness to the flavor of our community,” she said. “We want to help the residents save money on those everyday necessities, as well as some of the luxuries that they may have had to cut out of their budgets, especially in this current economy,” Micha said.

MCSG is a win-win for residents and businesses, she said. “The guide helps businesses grow because it’s a highly visible and affordable advertising opportunity that starts at only $50 a month,” she said. “A listing includes the business logo, address, phone number, a link to their website and a printable coupon with up to four offers. You can’t beat it.

The difference between MCSG and other coupon sites is that MCSG is a local community resource built to help our local economy flourish. It is not a site loaded with a bunch of offers from businesses all over Chicagoland or a bunch of 10 percent off offers. “It is local and offers deep discounts,” Micha said. “Examples of deals include an oil change for $9.95; a one-hour massage for $19; one free week of doggie daycare; family bowling package for $40; free yoga classes; and great offers for local restaurants including lots of buy one get one free coupons.”

The guide it is also extremely user friendly. “We designed MCSG to be quick and easy to use. There is no registration, auctions or personal information required to use the site and take advantage of the savings. All business types are categorized and placed alphabetically and you can print the offers at just a click of a mouse.”

With Micha’s many partnerships in the business community, as well as her consulting expertise, she also helps local businesses with professional design, printing, indoor billboards, print advertising and sales training.

“My ultimate goal is to give the small businesses in our community a chance to have an advertising campaign that will change the course of their future – something affordable and effective,” she said. “My hope is that when the residents use the guide, it will not only help them save money but also help grow the business community, which boosts the local economy.”

Micha is currently hiring marketing consultants. For more information about this position or how to get your business on board with MSCG, contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 815-276-7666.


MCSG has partnered with McHenry County Living to offer an easy way to access and print offers from the magazine’s advertisers. Whenever you see MCSG’s logo in a McHenry County Living ad, that means there are coupons available for that business at!


Everyone Wins When We Shop Local

Shopping local keeps McHenry County unique. Where we shop, where we eat and have fun – all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of McHenry County. Our tourism businesses also benefit.

Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in our community, and they provide the most jobs to residents. Keeping cash in our community is essential to creating jobs.

Buying locally not only helps neighbors, it helps the local economy. According to economic studies, for every $100 spent at a chain store only $12 is circulated back into the local economy. For every $100 spent at an independent store, $45 is circulated locally – that’s an investment that makes a difference here at home.

Shopping local offers:

  • Reduction in the ecological footprint – Local purchases generally require less transportation, thereby lowering transportation costs, as well as the pollution associated with them. In addition, shoppers who buy in their own neighborhood travel shorter distances reducing their own pollution.

  • Reinvestment into the community – Local business owners live in the community and are, therefore, more invested in the future of that community. In fact, according to the National Federation of Independent Business, 91 percent of small business owners volunteer or provide donations to local causes. Revitalization of local communities is important to keeping American neighborhoods strong. Plus, by shopping locally, shoppers reinvest in their own community and help retain its character.

  • Magnify the choices – Want to ensure innovation? Buy local. Anyone can walk into a big department or chain store and buy what everyone else owns. However, supporting the small business owner means the opportunity to find truly unique, one-of-a-kind services, gifts and products.

  • Top-notch service – Research has shown that in order to compete, small business owners focus on quality customer service and quality products. They are more likely to go above and beyond by providing extra service or by acting as a knowledgeable resource. And because they are involved in running the business they tend to be experts in their field.