A strong online presence is an important factor for any small business aiming to attract new customers. In the city of Louisville, the Department of Economic Growth and Innovation developed a new program called Digital Economic Corridors to teach small businesses how to build a web presence and increase their visibility to potential customers.
The city’s pilot program targeted small businesses in a disinvested commercial corridor. In this particular neighborhood, only 16% of businesses were accurately represented online. Through a series of community workshops, small businesses learned how to register with sites like Yelp, Google Places, and the Better Business Bureau. The city now has these informational resources online for all small business to use (hint: this information can be shared with small businesses in your community too).
“The internet and mobile devices are making it possible for us to have an impact on small business growth, because increasingly, people turn to the web or their smartphone to find places to eat, shop, and do business,” a city representative explained. “When streets lined with local businesses show up in those online searches, businesses and the surrounding neighborhoods will benefit with increased economic activity and vitality.”
This story from the city of Louisville is an example of how city leaders can help local small business owners learn how to leverage online resources for marketing and customer engagement purposes. You can learn more strategies for supporting local small businesses in the Saturday morning Deep Dive Session: Big Ideas for Supporting Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs at NLC’s upcoming Congress of Cities conference in Austin on Nov. 19-22 during Global Entrepreneurship Week.