The Covid-19 pandemic forced local businesses to adapt in real-time to global changes. Manufacturers who wanted to operate safely needed to know where they could find funding or even a company to clean their facilities. Restaurants needed to know if they were allowed to have indoor dining, if they could offer curbside pickup, and how they could offer outdoor dining safely within zoning requirements.
Those businesses turned to local and regional government agencies like the Elk Grove Economic Development team, led by Josh Grodzin and Nick Radcliffe, for guidance. In response, they created an online coronavirus platform with answers to these questions and access to other helpful resources.
The team also helped launch the Shop Elk Grove website, where local businesses could add a free directory listing as well as information about contactless payments or pandemic hours of operation.
Many Elk Grove Village restaurants are Mom and Pop shops and not part of a national chain. Some of them don’t even have a website. So they don’t necessarily have the time or resources to promote themselves or their events like the bigger, corporate restaurants in surrounding towns. Still, many of the restaurants remained focused on and dedicated to the 60,000 people who work in the Elk Grove Village industrial park.
Two years later, the Shop Elk Grove website has been relaunched to highlight and celebrate local businesses, from restaurants and service providers to retail shops.
The site will allow residents and workers to find local businesses through a category search or an interactive map. Business owners can still add their listing and find local workforce development resources or become one of the featured businesses on the website.
“It’s hard to compete with Google when helping companies get discovered and chosen,” Radcliffe said. “But, we’re the local government, we should respond to the needs of our business base. We have a responsibility to the taxpayers to service them the best we can.”
“It might be hard for some small businesses to put an advertisement on Yelp or Google, but they can put it on Shop Elk Grove for free, have their store reviewed, or share their story,” Radcliffe said. “Shop Elk Grove is a powerful way to get their promotions and advertisements out.”
“It drives business and it creates a sense of community–that the government and the people who work for Elk Grove Village care about their business and that this is a good place to be,” Grodzin said. “It’s never a bad thing to do the right thing and be friendly to the business community. We’re public employees, that’s part of our job. We like making people happy.”
Please return to Shop Elk Grove often to learn about more local businesses. Bookmark this page for easy reference.