Local Business Friday Goes Virtual
Local Business Friday is relaunching, virtually. The program was postponed due to the pandemic, however, the decision was recently made to move Local Business Friday virtual, rather than waiting months to relaunch the initiative.
Local Business Friday began in February, 2020 in an effort to promote local town businesses. Norwood’s Budget and Management Analyst Joe Collins is the series’ brainchild with the goal to promote Norwood businesses through the town’s social media channels. Collins, working along with Norwood Community Media’s (NCM) Station Manager Meghan Corbett, created a way o make it easy for businesses to participate.
Before the pandemic, interviews with business owners were recorded by NCM through the town’s public access channel, which also produced and recorded the interviews, before sharing them online and broadcasting them on television as part of NCM’s “Living Local” Series.
All of Norwood’s businesses, large and small, commercial and industrial, are welcome and encouraged to participate. Local Business Friday highlights Norwood businesses from retail stores to banks, restaurants, and everything in between. Since its inception, less than a handful of business owners have participated in the program as it launched just before the pandemic hit.
“We had four or five already scheduled for March and April last year and we just kept pushing them back a month and pushing them back again before we had to indefinitely postpone the initiative,” Collins said.
A couple of months ago, Collins reached out to Corbett to brainstorm how they could bring Local Business Friday back online without doing in-person interviews. That’s when they came up with the idea to have businesses submit a two to three minute video talking about what they are doing to keep people safe, and how they are running their businesses during the pandemic. This is hopefully another tool for business owners to promote their products and endorse their COVID procedures while they continue to struggle due to restrictions brought on by the pandemic.
Charlotte Walsh, Friends of Norwood Center president and owner of Charles River Running said local business owners should take advantage of the opportunity Local Business Friday affords them.
“I think anytime a small business has the opportunity to cheer for themselves on any platform it’s an opportunity that should not be turned down,” Walsh said. “It’s been such a difficult year but we are lucky to own businesses in such an amazing community. Norwood really loves their town. They love their center and they love all the businesses that are around Norwood.”
Collins hopes businesses will take advantage of this new format for getting the word out there through Local Business Friday and he wants businesses to know it’s easy and very informal.
“It’s a great way to showcase your business on the town’s social media platforms as well as NCM and a great way to communicate with town officials and learn about some other programs we have available,” Collins said.
To be part of Local Business Fridays, business owners or branch managers need to complete an application providing basic information about their business, as well as why they would like to participate. The application is sent to Collins who coordinates with Corbett to get something scheduled. The application can be found on the town’s website at http://www.norwoodma.gov/news_detail_T13_R555.php.