Many businesses across Niagara who have adapted to new ways of doing business due to COVID-19 have an innovative tool to help them connect with customers. This week, Niagara Economic Development (NED) officially launched its new OpenInNiagara online business directory.
The new tool allows businesses from all Niagara municipalities, in all sectors, to promote and advertise their location, contact information, and details on modified business practices, such as curbside pickup or delivery. The map-based tool then allows Niagara consumers to easily find and connect with those businesses.
Nearly 150 Niagara businesses, in sectors ranging from restaurants, to healthcare, to professional services and others, have already added their information. Businesses can visit OpenInNiagara.ca to enter a brief description of their services and be included at no charge in the directory, which will be promoted throughout the region.
OpeninNiagara.ca allows residents to search businesses by business type and location, and operating hours. The tool also relies on crowdsourced information and is updated often, however residents are encouraged to contact businesses directly to verify their hours of operation and business practices.
The creation of an online business directory is just one way that Niagara’s economic development officials are helping to support Niagara businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. Niagara Economic Development and economic development officers across Niagara are working in concert as Niagara’s Economic Rapid Response Team, to ensure Niagara’s businesses have the tools and supports they need to weather this unprecedented situation.
"One of the more unique challenges that COVID-19 has created for local businesses is the need to rapidly embrace e-commerce and other alternative methods of reaching customers. OpenInNiagara provides a region-wide tool for businesses to stay in contact with consumers and advertise the changes they’ve made to stay open for business in Niagara." ~ Valerie Kuhns, Acting Director, Niagara Economic Development