The most recent “Back to Business Iowa” podcast from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach features Cherie Edilson, co-founder and CEO of Shop Where I Live.
This Marion, Iowa based company works with chambers of commerce and economic development groups statewide to create online “storefronts” where all of the community’s businesses can sell their products in one spot.
This model is surging in popularity with COVID-19 pandemic-related closures and social distancing requirements.
Stream the episode online to learn more about the platform and online sales best practices.
Edilson said the mission of Shop Where I Live is to help local small business owners sell together online. She and her partner created the platform in 2017 as a simple web solution to help crafters in their community sell products outside of one-day craft fairs. She said the company now serves multiple communities across the United States, helping small businesses sell together online and consumers shop locally through one website: www.shopwhereilive.com.
Among the Iowa communities using the platform to support their local businesses are Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Mt. Vernon, and the regions of central and northwest Iowa. Participating businesses sell everything from food and beverages to clothing to home and garden supplies. Services range from salons to chiropractic to web design.
After purchasing items through a secure online payment system, businesses arrange to ship them, or consumers can arrange pick-up.
The Shop Where I Live site also offers other resources for businesses and communities to help streamline and boost online sales.
Listen to more “Back to Business Iowa” episodes at the link above. Topics range from COVID-19 reopening guidelines to business basics. The series is a collaboration among ISU Extension and Outreach Farm, Food and Enterprise Development and Community and Economic Development Programs, and Iowa Small Business Development Centers.
For more information, contact Brian Tapp, enterprise development program manager with the Food, Farm and Enterprise Development program with ISU Extension and Outreach, at 515-294-4417, or firstname.lastname@example.org.