The Indian River Chamber’s Economic Development office (EDO) just launched its “ZoomBusiness” website, www.indianrivercountybiz.com. The site is an online tool that enables Chamber members to communicate with customers for free in real time. The website was created by GIS Planning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is an interactive, mobile-responsive mapping directory for our community that ensures customers can find open restaurants, stores and services in Indian River County – at no charge to the business or the customer.
Business owners edit their own information with customized details including: a link to their website, modified hours, delivery or curbside pickup options, safety protocols, and promotions. Residents can search for local businesses by categories, including grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, healthcare facilities, hardware stores, pet stores and automotive shops, among others.
This online resource is also beneficial for storm preparations and in the aftermath of a hurricane, showing where residents can find the supplies they need and the open/closed status of local businesses.
The EDO’s new website is powered by Google Maps, using various “layers” for precise queries. Businesses are prompted to directly enter information on their current status and the content is verified by Chamber staff. GIS Planning, website creator, also added map layers to the original property search website, www.indianriversites.com, including a COVID-19 case map updated daily by the New York Times, and a job-loss vulnerability index using recent employment data from Chmura, a national economics and data analytics firm.
GIS Planning has deployed ZoomBusiness websites in over 30 communities across North America since the new online GIS mapping tool launched April 22nd.
“Through our work with GIS Planning, we’ve been able to take our list of open restaurants and integrate that into the property search map on our original GIS website, www.indianriversites.com,” said Helene Caseltine, Economic Development with the Chamber. “Business retention is a crucial component of our economic development plan – now more than ever. During this pandemic crisis, local businesses need every advantage we can give them, and this second website, www.indianrivercountybiz.com, is another tool in our business owner’s toolbox to help mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19.” Click here to access the Indian River Chamber’s Economic Development “ZoomBusiness” tool.
The Indian River Chamber, along with its Economic Development and Tourism offices, will continue to support local businesses in other ways, but there is nothing better than bringing residents back to the restaurants, shops and services that make their community so distinctive.
“Main street businesses are truly the lifeblood of a community,” says Alissa Sklar, vice president of marketing for GIS Planning. “According to FEMA, up to 40% of small businesses never reopen after a major disaster. With “ZoomBusiness”, we want to help make sure the local restaurants, retailers and service providers that define local communities are still there to serve area residents when this pandemic is over.”
GIS Planning has provided its “ZoomBusiness” tool at no charge to its existing economic development clients (those using its investment attraction map, “ZoomProspector”). It is also available to new clients for a nominal fee. Prices are indexed to population size to keep them affordable for all communities. New clients can also be set up and ready to launch the tool within one day. For more information about ZoomBusiness, visit www.gisplanning.com/products/zoombusiness/overview.
Following the COVID-19 recovery, data experts at GIS Planning forecast continued use of the directory to promote small and medium-sized businesses across North America.
About the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce
The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is a county-wide non-profit organization representing the business community. The Chamber provides a wide variety of business services and benefits for its members and advocates on behalf of the local business community to create an environment where all businesses will thrive and succeed. The Chamber serves as the primary economic development organization working on behalf of the Indian River County Board of County Commissioners.
About GIS Planning
GIS Planning, a service of the Financial Times, is the world leader in online economic development solutions for corporate site selection. Its suite of tools provides real estate, demographic, labor force and industry data to help investors select optimal geographic locations through powerful online mapping analysis. GIS Planning’s software as a service helps regions create jobs, nurture existing companies and grow their economies through business investment. GIS Planning tools currently serve six out of ten Americans in 45 states, including 28 statewide economic development organizations, Canada, Switzerland, several counties in the U.K., Murcia (Spain), Bordeaux (France), Dusseldorf (Germany), Gothenburg (Sweden), Kyiv (Ukraine) and more. For more information visit: www.gisplanning.com.