Sell Local, Buy Local: Norfolk’s Coronavirus Trading Websites For Small Business
The past few weeks have seen radical changes in the way Norfolk’s businesses operate. While Coronavirus has disrupted trading, it has also nurtured community spirit, creative thinking and plenty of mutual aid. As a result, there’s been a surge in online platforms that help you sell, advertise services and network.
Here are those websites, all in one place, for you to refer to. Set aside an afternoon and join as many of these directories as you can. When you’re done, shout from the rafters about the lot. If these ventures succeed, so might yours!
If you’re a business owner then sign up to these websites to maximise your exposure. Many of them are free, while the paid ones offer great perks such as promotion, networking and business support.
If you’re a customer then browse these directories and support your favourite local businesses. If you don’t have a favourite yet, make a new one! There’s plenty to enjoy.
|What it offers||Online directory|
|Specialty||Businesses that deliver|
As the name suggests, delivernorfolk.co.uk focuses on local businesses that deliver. It’s split by food deliveries and ‘other’ (books, plants, sundries etc) letting you browse all entries via one screen. Deliver Norfolk is crowd-sourced so if you know of a business that isn’t listed, submit!
|What it offers||Online directory|
|Speciality||All business types|
Taking the rainbow to its heart, supportnorfolk.com focuses on ways local businesses have changed and adapted to COVID-19. Each business provides an update on how they’re doing things differently. Submissions are free, and there’s a feature to let customers donate their ‘commute’ to a local charity.
|What it offers||Branded store, goods delivery|
|Speciality||Food boxes & essentials|
This is a neat idea. The Goodery’s service connects grocer to customer via a fleet of zero-emissions vehicles. Not only that, but they offer suppliers the opportunity to create a mini shop within their website. Described as an ‘online Norwich market’, goodery.co.uk is the much-needed middleman for a locked down economy.
Community Grocery Delivery
|What it offers||Branded store, online directory|
|Speciality||Food producers, food banks, charities|
Besides offering a comprehensive directory of local businesses, communitygrocerydelivery.co.uk provides a free online store to eligible suppliers. Sellers are left with detailed instructions on how to manage their shop. Meanwhile payment is arranged privately between the store owner and customer.
My Local Produce
|What it offers||Branded store|
|Listing cost||Free signup + 5% commission|
|Speciality||Farm shops, butchers, bakers, cafés etc|
Another “farm to fork” enterprise, mylocalproduce.co.uk provide sellers with their own WooCommerce microstore. Their focus is farm shops, grocers, butchers and the like. If you’re in the fresh food business and need a place to sell, sign up here.
|What it offers||Directory and event listings, newsletter mentions, networking, promotion, preferential discounts from sponsors and members.|
|Membership offer||£50+ per annum|
|Speciality||Food & Drink|
This is a specialist group that supports the food and drinks industry. With more membership perks than you can fit into a screen, proudlynorfolk.co.uk is a tempting prospect for growers, producers, caterers and retailers. Right now they’re running a #NorfolkIsOpen page that shows which members you can support, and what adaptations they’ve made to their business. Besides this, they’ve extended membership fees to cover 15 months instead of 12.
Buy Local Norfolk
|What it offers||Directory listing, networking, online promotion, discount exhibitions, online shop|
|Listing cost||£120 per annum|
Buy Local Norfolk is long-established in the region. Countless local businesses proudly sport the Buy Local Norfolk logo on their websites and marketing, and for good reason. It’s a badge of community spirit, mutual support and pride in this fine county. By joining buylocalnorfolk.co.uk, you’ll become a part of that, with access to networking events, social media promotion and a high-traffic directory listing.
In 2020, Buy Local Norfolk introduced an online shop to their website. This allows members to showcase their products and sell online, using BLN as an in-between. This means members of the public can support multiple local businesses, all from the same portal.
|What it offers||Networking, promotion, support, training, lobbying, directory listing, B2B newsletter|
|Listing cost||£265+ per annum|
A stalwart of the business community, norfolkchamber.co.uk is an active and widely recognised directory of local organisations. Norfolk Chamber has a broad range of members: from small stores and food producers to regional water suppliers and of course, Aviva. While pricier to join, this is a solid long-term investment, especially if you want to get on the networking scene.
|What it offers||Gift cards for closed businesses|
|Speciality||Pubs, restaurants, cafés|
Pick, pay and enjoy later. That’s the simple 3 step process that powers give givelocally.co’s gift card directory. It’s a hub that lets loyal customers buy vouchers for their favourite businesses. The list of companies is crowd-sourced, so get busy adding your top picks!
|What it offers||Online directory listing|
|Listing cost||£50 per annum|
Advertised as “Norfolk’s Noticeboard”, norfolkonline.co.uk is a smart and user-friendly hub of small businesses from every industry. Although there’s a joining fee, these guys have been around for longer so may attract more visitors. Besides your own profile page, Norfolk Online offer you the chance to guest blog and shout that you’re open for business.
All Things Norfolk
|What it offers||Online store page, directory listing, certificate, B2B newsletter, social media promotion|
|Listing cost||£52 for 15 months|
|Speciality||All business types|
A smart directory of businesses across every sector, allthingsnorfolk.com gives users a flexible profile page, an online shop and smart booking forms that let customers enquire directly to the business owner. Membership is usually £52 for an annual membership but currently All Things Norfolk are offering 15 months for the price of 12 months.
Have I missed anything? Get in touch.
Last month I wrote about how to set up a popup shop and deliver remote services. That’s a first step, but these websites will help diversify your income stream and be seen by Norfolk’s willing audience. If you run or know about any other initiatives that should be featured then please let me know.
Written by Bruce Sigrist in: Norwich