New York City Launches “Open + Online” Initiative for Small Businesses

New York City in conjunction with the Small Business Resource Network launches the “Open + Online” initiative whose main objective is to help small business owners get involved and access the growing digital age as the pandemic of the COVID-19 directs this sector in electronic commerce.

A group of companies, organizations, chambers of commerce of the 5 counties and the Department of Small Services of the city, have partnered so that small businesses that lack a digital presence can expand and establish digital capabilities, which will allow them to increase their Profits.

The pandemic showed us that the modern world of the digital age is the key to success for the future of industries, including small businesses, and being at the forefront in this regard is not a luxury, but a necessity that will go on every day. growing as humans demand less physical contact, as many public health specialists argue that COVID-19 is here to stay.

Since before the pandemic arrived, small businesses had lacked positioning on the web, many of them depended on daily foot traffic, which left them at a disadvantage when the COVID-19 pandemic forced people into lockdown.

The statistics reflect that we are moving towards a digital world. According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures online sales in all forms of payment, it noted that the share of retail sales in New York City that was done online improved 13% in 2019 compared to 21% in 2021.

Share of online sales increased from 34% to 57%, underscoring the need for small business owners to be able to compete across all channels.

So, through the “Open + Online” initiative, hundreds of small businesses will be allowed to update their web presence and expand their e-commerce activity as they fight to recover from the losses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Squarespace and BentoBox, which are responsible for creating websites and e-commerce, will offer those who make use of this benefit an annual subscription with a discount for participating companies, as well as support on construction sites.

Within this initiative, independent web designers are involved to create and update the web sites. Entrepreneurs will receive expert guidance on how to maximize their new fingerprint.

The companies that are selected for this program will receive these services at no cost. The organizers have pointed out that they will give priority to companies owned by minorities, women and immigrants with fewer than 20 employees.

The Small Business Resource Network featured several small business websites that were created during a pilot phase, as an incentive for other businesses to get involved:

Princess and an heiress:   princessandheiress.com 

African Queen Boutique:   africanqueenboutiquenyc.com

Park Asia Restaurant:   parkasiabrooklyn.com

The organizers indicated that small business owners can apply to be part of the “Open + Online” program through the following link  smallbiz.nyc . As reported, applications will be received continuously until September.

To date, more than 17,000 businesses across the five boroughs have been reached through the SBRN. The main resources offered by this program are: marketing, finance, legal advice, accounting, and business strategy.

Among the main industries served through this program are restaurants, beauty and retail.

The organizers are committed to working in communities that have been difficult to reach with other mainstream programs, and the majority of businesses seeking assistance are minority- or women-owned and with an average number of employees of less than five.

In order to find the digital assets for the “Open + Online” program, you can enter through this link https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wvbtth8q1ykmoi4/AADM9jJ2ZnKmUDBWc9IHXylCa?dl=0

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