IRVINE, CA--(Marketwired - Aug 1, 2013) - Sage, a leading provider of business management software and services for more than 6 million small and midsized businesses worldwide, will make St. Louis the seventh stop on its 16-city, 50-day Sage Listens RV Relay today and tomorrow. During their time in St. Louis, Sage executives will continue encouraging consumers and businesses to "Shop Local," visit with three Sage customers, and co-host a "Lunch and Learn" event with AXIS Integrated Solutions, two Sage business partners, and BKD, LLP, a Sage Accountants Network member.

The Sage Listens RV Relay is a literal and figurative vehicle for Sage executives to personally visit customers across the U.S., to build stronger relationships, help customers maximize their software investments and encourage a "Shop Local" commitment. A recent study showed that local retailers return up to 68 percent of their revenue to the local economy in the form of locally purchased wages, goods, services, profits and donations; whereas larger businesses spend only 43 percent locally. Sage is encouraging consumers and businesses to support businesses locally based in their communities to generate this higher local revenue return.

"St. Louis is known for being a risk-taker and instilling a great sense of entrepreneurship," said Brad Smith, executive vice president for customer experience, Sage North America. "The St. Louis region has 68,000-plus small businesses and an unemployment rate of 6.7 percent. Sage wants to encourage owners and locals to continue to grow and keep resources within the city in order to build a strong economic foundation."

The Gateway to the West's long history in promoting local businesses has recently experienced an influx of local companies being purchased by outsiders, making the present a critical time to support local businesses to ensure history is not forgotten. With plans to invest $100 million over the next five years towards reviving the small business culture, city officials are committed to the growth and success of St. Louis businesses.

Today, the Sage team will meet with Valley Industries, a sheltered workshop and thrift store employing adults with developmental disabilities. Tomorrow, the Sage team will meet with Surgical Instrument Manufacturing, a contract medical manufacturing company, and VIP Distributing Company, an accessory distributor installer.

Sage, AXIS Integrated Solutions and BKD, LLP will co-host a "Lunch and Learn" event on enterprise resource planning (ERP) at Embassy Suites in St. Charles, Mo. AXIS, a Sage President's Circle member, has been helping other businesses help themselves since 1979. In 1993, the company became the first Sage certified consultant in the Midwest, and in 1998, it became a Sage business partner. Today, AXIS has offices in St. Louis, Kansas City, Mo., and Tulsa, Okla.

BKD, LLP is a national CPA and advisory firm delivering its experience and service with a deep understanding of their customers' businesses and needs and what it takes to improve business performance. BKD provides consulting, tax, assurance and accounting outsourcing solutions to businesses, governmental entities, not-for-profit organizations and individuals.

The Sage Listens RV Relay, which started July 10 and will conclude August 28, will next stop in Kansas City, Mo., on August 5. Follow the progress of the Sage Listens RV Relay as it crosses the country by visiting, by following, and by searching Twitter for #SageListens and #SageShopLocal.

About Sage Group plc
Sage Group plc is a leading global provider of business management software to small and medium sized companies, creating greater freedom for them to succeed. Sage understands how and why each business is unique. We provide products and services that suit varying needs, are a pleasure to use and are secure and efficient. Formed in 1981, Sage was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and entered the FTSE 100 in 1999. Sage has over 6 million customers and more than 13,380 employees in 24 countries covering the UK & Ireland, mainland Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia, Asia and Brazil. For further information please visit

For more information about Sage in North America, please visit the company website at Follow Sage North America on Facebook,, and Twitter,

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