Eight weeks into quarantine, one of my daughters ran out of acrylic paint. Happy to support any activity that isn't online, we looked online to replenish her supply. Amazon Prime couldn't promise anything better than a minimum three weeks before delivery. So we turned to the website of a local arts supply chain store but they were also seriously backlogged. Then we remembered the funky general store/ hardware store down the street. We googled them. They had what she wanted. They were open, taking phone orders and offering curb-side pickup and contactless payment.
When we drove by to pick up the paints, I recognized the owner from my local gym. One of my older daughters had babysat for his kids. This was no longer just a store; this was my neighbor. And we were glad to support him.
Boom. This is our hyperlocal moment.
This is the moment when the small and medium-sized businesses in our regions are once again the first choice to get us the goods and services we need in a timely manner. The moment when they are once again - for whatever brilliant, brief moment - the closest, most convenient source for what we need in the midst of COVID-19 restrictions.
This moment comes when they need us most as well. FEMA estimates that 40% of businesses don't reopen after a disaster. Another 25% fail within a year. And the US Small Business Administration data say 90% of companies will fail in the two years following a disaster. A new report from the reservation app, OpenTable, estimates 25% of restaurants won't survive this pandemic.
These bleak predictions are even more grim when we recognize that 90% of jobs in any region come from these small and medium-sized restaurants, retailers and service providers. They are the lifeblood of an area's economy. And they need us now more than ever.
Is your economic development organization or chamber of commerce stepping up to help your local businesses when they need you most? Will you be able to show that you stepped up to connect the residents and consumers in your region with the restaurants, companies, non-profit organizations and services around them? Because that's exactly what ZoomBusiness does. ZoomBusiness is an interactive, online map directory of businesses open during COVID-19 restrictions. The link can be set up in one business day. Businesses can add themselves from the link in the top right, and admins get to approve all entries. It's also possible to add many businesses at once in the back end, using the spreadsheet template provided.
Our clients have been incredibly proactive about sharing the links to their community's ZoomBusiness directory so that consumers can find the food, drink, retail goods and services they need. Fayette (GA) (see their ZoomBusiness tool below) has partnered with their local newspaper to add a Who's Listed? link on their home page. The attached posters were used on social media and in ads by Rowan County. This post was used on Twitter by the City of Abbotsford (BC). This one was shared by Pasadena EDC.
Putting ZoomBusiness to work for your region is easier than ever. Simply click on the link below to schedule a time with our sales team. You'll be surprised to discover just how affordable ZoomBusiness is - we index price to population so that every region, from small towns to large metro areas, will find it accessible. And of course, ZoomBusiness is included at no additional charge with all full-edition ZoomProspector Enterprise web tools in the United States and Canada.