Rowan EDC launches new tool to let community know about businesses that are open

It ensures customers can find open restaurants, stores, and services in Rowan County at no...
It ensures customers can find open restaurants, stores, and services in Rowan County at no charge.(Rowan EDC)
Updated: Apr. 29, 2020 at 7:31 AM EDT
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SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - The Rowan County EDC has launched Rowan County ZoomBusiness, an online tool from GIS Planning that enables local businesses across the region to communicate with customers for free in real time.

It ensures customers can find open restaurants, stores, and services in Rowan County at no charge. Businesses can list themselves for free on the Rowan County ZoomBusiness site to help residents find the businesses and services they need.

The businesses can provide customized details including websites, modified hours, delivery or curbside pickup options, promotions, and gift card stimulus programs. Residents can search for area businesses by categories, including grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, health facilities, hardware stores, pet stores and automotive shops, among others.

Rowan County’s ZoomBusiness is a simple-to-use data tool, powered by Google Maps, using various “layers” for precise queries. Zoombusiness also added free map layers, including a COVID-19 case map updated daily by the New York Times, and a job-loss vulnerability index using recent employment data from Chmura. Local ZoomBusiness sites have already been deployed in over 30 communities across North America during since the new online GIS mapping tool launched April 22.

The Rowan County ZoomBusiness tool was the second to launch in North Carolina.

“Through our work with GIS Planning, we’re able to offer a list of open restaurants and businesses and integrate it into the available properties map on our website,” said Rowan EDC president Rod Crider. “During this crisis, local businesses need every advantage we can give them, and this is another tool in helping them to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19.”

“Main street businesses are truly the lifeblood of a community,” says Alissa Sklar, vice president of marketing for GIS Planning. “According to FEMA, up to 40% of small businesses never reopen after a major disaster. With ZoomBusiness, we want to help make sure the local restaurants, retailers and service providers that define local communities are still there to serve area residents when this pandemic is over.”

Following the COVID-19 recovery, data experts at GIS Planning forecast continued use of the directory to promote small and medium-sized businesses across North America. For more information, visit our website or email us.

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