By Seth Daniel
Earlier this year local retailers in the South End had become increasingly worried about the atmosphere in the business districts over the lack of business. Retailers shared their concerns with one another that led to a move which created business to business communication, especially between the female business owners in the South End. This resulted in a grand celebration that brought awareness to their concerns.
After the excitement wore off, it was time for the next step.
According to three South End business owners, a new effort has created a website called SouthEndStreets.com.
Megan and Moria Flynn (M. Flynn), Recycle Studio and Sofi Madison of Olives & Grace spent much of the summer planning the site and the campaign – and will launch the new effort just before Small Business Saturday this week, which is Nov. 25. It’s also an effort to promote the upcoming South End Stroll on Dec. 6.
“Our three businesses have been getting together for several months to come up with a plan of action,” said Madison. “We were able to really convey our worries for the local businesses last year, and we think people heard that, but many people aren’t aware of where to go. We decided to launch a campaign to show them. We are launching the website. The point is to highlight the neighborhood and not just one street. There are gems and hidden areas throughout the South End streets. We want the campaign to be a map for residents and guests to see what is beyond Tremont Street. We believe there are so many great small, local businesses people may not know about.”
One of the keys will be drilling down on the local angle.
A critical decision that was made was to only include locally-owned independent businesses, and not allow franchises on the site – even though many franchisees in the South End are friendly to the small business owners.
“In or to be included, you have to be locally and independently owned,” she said. “That was tough, but we decided not to include franchises or chains. We want to make sure this is a neighborhood that supports local businesses. We want it to be unique, informative, updated frequently so it’s fresh and easy to use.”
The South End Streets will include restaurant listings, retail stores, lifestyle businesses and a calendar – which is a major part of the effort to highlight the daily goings-on at local businesses.
There will also be a blog and other neighborhood content.
Overall, Madison said they all felt it was a good next step to their effort to promote more support of the neighborhood businesses.
“We find this to be a step in the right direction – making the information accessible and attractive,” she said. “We can’t just wait. We have to do our part to make it easy. Just like the malls make it easy with having it all together. We don’t have that, but we do have a lot of love for our customers, unique personality and bar-none great products.”