Local businesses go online: Directories available for local shopping done safely | TheUnion.com
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Local businesses go online: Directories available for local shopping done safely

Shopping local this holiday season has never before been this easy. Looking for that perfect, one-of-a-kind gift or wanting someone else to make Christmas dinner? It could be as simple as scrolling through the social media posts of your favorite local shop or restaurant on Facebook or Instagram.

This year, due to COVID-19, small business owners have had to pivot and adapt. Local retail shops created online stores and began selling their goods to customers around the world. They offered curbside pickup, video tours, private shopping hours and porch side delivery. Professional artists also found themselves turning to online to sell their work. Restaurants created special pre-ordered dinners along with heat and eat meals, sold cooking and baking staples when grocery store shelves were empty, and implemented their own online ordering to stay in business and continue to serve their community.

To support these small businesses and artists, the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce and Nevada County Arts Council have both created online directories.



Last month, the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce launched an online Holiday Gift Guide featuring dozens of local Nevada City shops and popular Victorian Christmas vendors selling thousands of handmade and unique goods and wares. Customers can go to http://www.nevadacitychamber.com/holiday-gift-guide and search by categories such as clothing, home, kids, books and jewelry, to find the perfect holiday gift.

Retail shops such as Abstrakt and The Earth Store, are two of the most recent businesses that have joined other shops such as KitKitDizzi, Soul Crafts, Phoenix Rising, Tysa, and Earth Central Artisans Hub in operating successful online stores. Restaurants, such as Heartwood Eatery, have also made the transition to online ordering and customers can then either pick up their orders in person or request curbside pickup. Almost all businesses have increased their presence on social media to update customers on inventory, new arrivals, specials, shop hours, and answer customer questions swiftly.



“Nothing can take away from the in person shopping experience one has when they visit our charming downtown and local shops,” says Gretchen Bond, Board President of the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce. “The move to offer goods online is one towards greater sustainability for our businesses though. We will continue to support this transition through promotion and education.”

Right now the Chamber’s Holiday Gift Guide is member based, but the organization is working to create a Shop Nevada County website that can be referenced year round.

The Nevada County Arts Council also recently launched “Shopping with Artists” an online shopping experience which connects buyers with local professional artists. The site currently features fifty artists offering an array of goods including fine art, illustrations, cards, prints, home décor, wearable art, beadwork, pottery, and much more.

Some of the features renowned muralist and artist Miles Toland, adventure and travel photographer Saf Elmansour; eclectic, handmade Southwestern jewelry by Taryn A. Evans, limited edition giclee prints by Ursula Xanthe Young, and so many others.

Eliza Tudor, Executive Director at the Council, says: “As the days pass more and more artists sign up, we are able to add to our directory and create a fabulous shopping experience. This is a win-win for Nevada County – both in terms of the artists we are supporting and our community who are thirsty to shop local while enjoying real variety.”

Artists who are interested in participating in Shopping with Artists can find submission information at Nevada County Arts Council’s Call to Artists page at nevadacountyarts.org/call-to-artists. LeeAnn Brook, a participating artist, says: “Shopping with Artists brings together the wealth of artistic talent in our community, and delivers it to the fingertips of shoppers.”

To learn more about the experience, visit https://www.nevadacountyarts.org/shopping-with-artists.

 


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