A Town Bands Together to Create a Dynamic “Shop Local” Website

Twelve miles west of New York City, Montclair, NJ, a town of 40,000, supports six business districts, largely made up of small businesses, from restaurants to coffee bars, hair salons to boutique gyms, home decor to antiques shops. The variety of Montclair’s independently owned and operated businesses is key

Bugging Out: An Insect Business Goes Big By Going Digital

Jeff Neal launched his small business, The Critter Depot, to deliver live critters like crickets, roaches, superworms and fly larvae to local zoos and pet stores to help feed reptiles and amphibians.Prior to the pandemic, the process was straightforward: A zoo or pet store would call in their order,

Staying Positive, Committed, Connected With Technology

In January 2020, Rent Sons, a Rhode Island resource for finding people to do odd jobs around the house, had visions of growing. A company Facebook post announced: “20 markets in 2020!”Then the pandemic hit. Founder Pat Brown had to rethink his entire business. Who would want a stranger coming

Woman holding an earth day paperweight that was made in a glassblowing studio

Bringing Art Home: A Glassblowing Studio Goes Digital

Epiphany Studios, a boutique glassblowing and art studio in Pontiac, MI, had cultivated a unique up-close experience for visitors. They opened their workshop so customers could watch them create one-of-a-kind objects, then take home a piece to call their own.Yet, when the pandemic hit last year, like most businesses,

Woman cleaning jewelry

Live Webcasts Add Sparkle to This Family-Run Jewelry Business

Nobody ever shopped at Moriarty’s Gem Art in Crown Point, IN, because they wanted common jewelry designs. Run by a family of expert designers and gem cutters for over 30 years, it’s been the go-to destination for colored gemstones that many shops don’t even carry. So when the pandemic forced

Family farm vegetables in cartons

E-commerce Helped This Family Farm Thrive

Nathan Vannette wasn't sure how Growing Green Family Farms would make it through 2020. Most of their business came from supplying nearby restaurants in upstate South Carolina, hit hard by the pandemic.And restaurants were good, consistent customers, making up 85% of the farm's sales.“Within a two-week period, 85% of

E-commerce dessert menu

How the Recipe for Success Changed to E-Commerce for This Pie Company

In January 2020, PiesAbilities launched as a small bakery with a mission to hire adults with disabilities. Inspired by her young daughter, who has a disability, founder Jennifer Dempsey of Gainesville, FL, sold pies at farmers’ markets and supplied corporate events and weddings through a simple website.When the pandemic hit

Twiddy & Company Rentals signage

Keeping the Personal Touch in Vacation Rentals Took Technology

Twiddy & Company Realtors of Corolla, NC, founded in 1978, handles rentals for about 1,000 vacation homes in the Outer Banks. The business had been booming, with homes going for an average of about $6,000 per week. Then, the pandemic hit like one of the hurricanes the area is

Interior of the Unknown Caller bar in downtown Chattanooga

How a Popular Bar Shakes Up the Usual Order With Instagram

Unknown Caller, a cocktail bar in downtown Chattanooga, TN, has always been cool. With a retro speakeasy theme, patrons typed a hidden code in a phone booth to get in.After the pandemic hit, however, the phone booth had to go. “We were really worried about germs,” explains owner James Heeley.