If you have additional questions, please reach out to us.
Is there a cost to the service?
No. Bludot Open is a site we put together all hands on deck in response to our cities' needs during coronavirus (COVID-19). We are offering the tool to cities at no cost in an effort to help as many communities as we can. We hope that by providing residents an easy way to see and search for what's open in their city, we can encourage more people to support our local businesses.
Does the service transition into a paid product?
Bludot Open can be linked to our main Bludot software, an economic development platform for communicating and engaging with businesses, however there is no obligation to do so. For cities that have a main Bludot account, they will access both platforms collectively.
To learn more about Bludot economic development software and how it supports business retention, please visit www.bludot.io.
Can we keep it after shelter-in-place and continue to promote local businesses? Can we add more businesses to the site after they start to reopen?
Yes, and yes! We are actively preparing and expanding Bludot Open's functionality beyond shelter-in-place, to continue to provide support to our cities as businesses reopen. If you have feedback/suggestions on what features will be helpful, please reach out!
Will the city have an admin account to manage the information?
Yes! Cities have an admin account to log in and manage all of the information on their city's site.
How do businesses get added? How do you verify them?
Once your city's site is live, businesses can come to the site and add their business. An email address is required from the user for any new entry. We have system alerts set up that will send email notification to the city any time a business gets added, so you can monitor the additions.
What if a business is added that isn’t an essential business?
With the city admin access, you can remove any business listing that is not essential, or not appropriate in any manner.
How do you track businesses that get edited?
Once your city's site is live, businesses can also come to the site and update their information, for example if their hours or pick-up/delivery options have changed, or if they are offering any new deals and discounts. The user's email address is also required to make the edits. We have system alerts set up that will notify you of each edit, so you can monitor the changes.
Can we point our residents to a city official URL to access Bludot Open?
Yes, all of the cities on our platform have used an official city URL in their announcements to the public. We have seen 3 ways of linking that URL to your Bludot Open page:
1. Redirect your city's "Open for Business" URL to your city's Bludot Open page (eg. "open.bludot.io/cities/yourcityname")
2. On your city's "Open for Business" page, include a link to your city's Bludot Open page that people can click on
3. Embed Bludot Open site within your city's "Open for Business" page
If your city's web manager has any questions about these, please feel free to reach out to us.
What is the little green tag on some businesses?
That is a "highlights" feature that we are allowing each business a 50-character shout-out of any special deals, offers, etc. that they would like to highlight on the main listing page. These highlights would be visible to site visitors without them having to click into each business. The purpose of this feature is to help each business provide the information to residents and attract more support. And no, we are not paid by any business to have the green tag.
What about "subscribe"?
"Subscribe" lets people sign up for daily updates of any changes in their city's Bludot Open page. Anyone that signs up for the update will get an email in the morning of any new businesses, new deals and offers, and business updates in their city.
How do we get set up?
To get started, if you have a list of businesses you'd like to include, please go ahead and send that to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in a spreadsheet and we'll get it imported. The more information you can provide about the businesses, eg. websites, phone numbers, hours, take-out/delivery, etc. the more it will help residents support them.
In addition, there are 2 filters that can be customized per city:
Some cities found it helpful to further differentiate sub-areas within the city, eg. "Downtown", "Northwest", etc. If this is relevant for your city, please provide to us the list of areas you'd like to include.
The categories filter helps residents select particular subset of businesses that they are looking for, eg. "Restaurant", "Grocery", "Auto", etc. Please let us know what categories your city would like to use.
How long does it take to get set up?
We understand the urgency of current situation and we will get it set up within 1 day of receiving the information from you.
What happens after shelter-in-place?
We are actively expanding Bludot Open's functionality to continue to provide value as businesses reopen. We are committed to build on this platform and deliver the needed Economic Development tools to help our local communities.
To learn about what we are working on in our economic development platform and how we support business retention, please visit www.bludot.io.