Joe: Welcome to the Being Found Show. If you’re not being found online, who is? We are here to make sure your business is found online by more buying customers.

I wanted to give an update on Project Hometown. It has officially launched, and it is happening. The idea of Project Hometown is to get all 17,000 businesses in Shasta County online with an e-commerce site or a service website up and running the way it should be. The goal is to have all those businesses online the way customers want to buy and available where they need to be found.

You can apply at where we offer e-commerce sites for just $750. This is not an advertisement for me. The Smart Center, Shasta Economic Development CorporationShasta High School and a bunch of companies including tech companies here in Shasta County have all come together to make this happen.

We’ve all come together to build a standard best practice concept and guideline for building these websites the way they’re supposed to be done. The local developers have all agreed to do them at a dramatically reduced price if you accept the terms. On top of that, we’re training high school kids to help us out so they learn these skills and can contribute to our goal of getting these businesses out there for the world to see.

Imagine what would happen to Shasta County if every business tapped into the e-commerce economy. We already have our first company who has applied and approved for their websites and process. We have another one who’s applied and many who are interested. We have other tech companies getting involved as well, so there is a lot going on.

Chauncey: The other advantage to working with Project Hometown is you are working with a group of people who are all working together. You are working with schools and helping these high school students get involved in the future of business. You are getting involved in a community of people who are looking to grow, change, and support local businesses and the people within the community itself.

Joe: I’m so glad you brought this up. There is an underlying concept of Project Hometown which is related to that. Something we have heard for years from the local businesses is that the businesses want to put the pressure and the responsibility on the buyer to buy local. Instead, what Project Hometown is doing is putting the responsibility back on the community of businesses and organizations to sell the way customers want to buy.

The idea is to come together to get this done right, but it’s also to respect our customers and sell the way they want to buy instead of putting the pressure on them. Customers who are frustrated with local businesses and wish they were being found online or had their services and products online, let them know about Project Hometown.

We have removed every barrier keeping these businesses from getting online the way their customers want them to be. Prices, timing, resources and the site builders themselves are all taken care of and at the disposal of these local businesses. Organizations like the Shasta EDC, the Shasta Lake City of Commerce and Anderson Chamber of Commerce are all going to promote these businesses and companies taking part in this. There is no reason not to sign up.

This is creating a huge disparity between small and large businesses and the technological services that they offer. Project Hometown is bridging that gap so that you can shop in town with the ease and comfort that you have been doing on the Internet from your local businesses; the places you love.

Whether you’re a local business, manufacturer or distributor, there’s now a space between you and the customer and that space has been filled up with the Internet. If you haven’t utilized the internet for your business, you are allowing this gap between you and your customers.

Instead of coming to you, your potential customers will find someone else who is available online and has bridged that gap. That’s what this is about, is bridging the gap for you businesses over to the customer. It’s not about asking the customer to change their behavior; it’s about businesses meeting our customers where they’re at.

Chauncey: It’s like allowing your customers to walk down a road of snake oil salesmen to your business when they didn’t have to.

Joe: Do you want to learn more about how Project Hometown can help your business? Visit Project Hometown, Fill out the form, and one of our Project Hometown members will contact you.

Thank you for listening to this segment of the Being Found Show, to hear the full show listen here: Being Found Show Episode #50 or subscribe to our podcast.