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Cities Promoting Local Businesses
September 23, 2010 at 6:25 pm #111726
I am currently in the process of making a suggestion to those in city management that we do more to promote local businesses, particularly using the web since I am a web developer for the city. I am basing my suggestion on the fact that a significant source of revenue for the city is the taxes from these businesses … as their business increases, so does our revenue.
I would like to solicit your ideas or success/failure stories. Here’s some of my ideas so far, all of which focus on web options, but I welcome non-web-related ideas/stories:
- Information in portlets
- Individual pages per business with directory pages by type of business and by business
- Google map application showing business locations by type
- Widgets with search by business type
- Wiki pages that allow customer ratings/comments
September 24, 2010 at 10:56 pm #111736
Some jurisdictions encourage the production of unsolicited proposals for the entity. Typically, these are from vendors who have innovative, cost-savings ideas/products. By having a policy for ‘unsolicited proposals’ entities can effectively invite vendors to disclose new innovate approaches which will result in contracts with the entities. In most jurisdictions, there is no policy concerning unsolicited proposals so the entity ends up rejecting them rather than offending the public policy of ‘fair, open, transparent’ competition.
Hope this helps.
December 7, 2010 at 3:05 pm #111734
Our community just launched a Shop Local campaign, which you can view on our website at http://www.fergusoncity.com. It seems like many cities have such a campaign, but we’ve added a wrinkle that allows users to sign up as frequent shoppers, and at the end of each month if they can produce four receipts showing they made purchases at local businesses that month, they’re entered into a drawing for a free gift contributed by one of the participating businesses. I’m not sure how effective it will be, but it’s a way to shine a spotlight on our local businesses and educate our residents about what our city can offer to meet their needs.
January 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm #111732
Very interesting and excellant idea. Will be passing that idea on to our chamber.
January 7, 2011 at 9:29 pm #111730
Definitely check out Littleton, CO – a great example of how to do it.
Also, Carson City, NV has centralized all business-related functions in a partnership with the Library and economic development. It’s called the Business Resource and Innovation Center (BRIC).
I’d also recommend reading “Ripples on the Zambezi” and connect with the Sirolli Institute at http://www.sirolli.com/About/TheSirolliTeam/tabid/92/Default.aspx
January 13, 2011 at 8:52 pm #111728
Sam, Nice web site. I like the promotion of shopping local too. We just signed on with WebQA/ShopQA and I am looking forward to see if this on-line directory of Fulton businesses works. They take your business license database and create a comprehensive list divided into the categories you give them and then make the database accessible from your web site in user-friendly style. Businesses are allowed to register and update the info about their business. We pay the up-front design costs and our Chamber will pay the maintenance costs. We go live February 1.
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