Within a month of launching Bludot Open, our Essential Business site is now live at 14 cities, supporting over 2,000+ small businesses and reaching over 100,000+ views. Among the businesses are restaurants offering takeout deals for dinner-for-four, grocery stores with senior special hours, brick-and-mortar shops adapting to online offerings, or just small businesses seeking support for their employees' paychecks. We are proud to be able to offer this platform and do our part in helping our communities.
Now, as we stand almost two months into the stay-at-home order, we at Bludot are all hands on deck building on our platform for the next phase. We have worked in close collaboration with cities and businesses, listening to their feedback, what has worked and what they need. When shutdown eases and more businesses reopen, we will be ready with the much needed functionalities for cities to rally and promote in their local communities.
1. Better listings
We are building on the Bludot Open site to best showcase the local businesses in your city. More filter options and more photos and visuals will help people find the businesses they are looking for and help the businesses stand out with their offerings. Throughout our work with local communities, we have seen the tremendous positive power one can have when communities come together. Having an easy-to-use, one-stop digital site that brings all your local businesses to everyone's finger tips is key to keeping people informed and letting people know who they can support.
2. Highlights and Promotions
Many businesses that have remained open through shelter-in-place have come up with innovative ways to adapt their offerings to the new normal. Restaurants offering pop-up essential grocery deliveries; craft shops offering masks and sewing kits; yoga studios converting to online classes; wineries hosting virtual tastings, are just a few examples. We have created the "highlights" feature to let these highlights stand out. Moreover, as more businesses reopen, they will be able to join the site and highlight their promotions.
Now people can also get daily updates of new businesses reopening as well as new deals and promotions in their inbox! As situations constantly evolving, businesses are also trying to keep up and adapt, changing their opening hours, takeout and delivery options, online offerings, etc. The subscribe function delivers these updates to people in your community first-hand in an email at 9am each morning. What better way to start your day!
4. Strength in Partnerships
Last but not least, an increasing theme we are seeing in the local businesses has been the growing number of creative, successful partnerships among the businesses. We had already heard feedback through our interviews with business owners prior to this pandemic on how powerful these partnerships can be; and we are excited to see that more and more are collaborating with each other to get through the crisis. A bakery store worked with a local food bank to set up a donation spot. Multiple retail shops put merchandise together for a Mother's Day gift basket. It's so inspiring to see local businesses coming together.
While these partnerships may have happened ad-hoc by chance, we are expanding our main Bludot economic development platform to make these happen more easily and broadly. We know that if businesses in your city have a dedicated platform to connect with each other, more amazing partnerships will be built, and together will be more than sum of the parts. If you are interested to learn more, please visit bludot.io and reach out to us!