Be Seen. Be Heard. Be Connected.
ECDI’s soon-to-be launched Business-to-Business (B2B) Directory is the largest directory of small business owners from across the state of Ohio. The directory, which currently showcases profiles of ECDI lending clients and will later include clients from other programs, takes advantage of the latest ingenuity in search engine optimization to increase the presence of small businesses through ECDI’s vast channel of networks. ECDI clients can increase procurement opportunities and update business content in real time on their personal profiles. The personalized, user-friendly business profile page boosts visibility, while the directory provides clients with a comprehensive list of other businesses to add to their network.
But don’t take our word for it. Let us illustrate the effectiveness of the directory for the consumer, while showcasing the return it will yield for small businesses across the state!
Margaret was having a bad day. She was overwhelmed. Never before had Margaret attempted to tackle such a daunting to-do list. This was not a day of your lackluster, run-of-the-mill errands. There was no grocery store, bank, post office, drycleaners or car wash that could help with her tasks. Oh, no. Not when Margaret’s very demanding Aunt Olivia was visiting from Kiribati.
Every August, Olivia spent two weeks visiting Margaret in Columbus. Unfortunately, the two weren’t very close; Olivia visited once a year simply to stock up on various goods that are unavailable to her on the obscure island nation in the central Pacific. Margaret, despite her unhappiness with this scenario, felt obliged to carry out her Aunt’s wishes. After all, family is family.
“Margaret,” Olivia called with a low growl and a snippy, impetuous tone. “I need you to run three errands for me today.”
“Yes, Aunt,” Margaret answered, grudgingly.
“First, as it turns out, this year I have begun having these intense migraines,” said Olivia. “I need you to pick up something strong to help with the pain. On Kiribati we use only natural remedies. So please be careful…no chemicals please!”
“Next,” Olivia squawked, “I need you to buy me a new kayak. Unfortunately, mine was destroyed by a Portuguese man o’ war. Though I was able to thwart the man o’ war with my brute strength and freakish immunity to its venom-filled nematocysts, my old kayak was not so lucky. It was a gift from my grandmother. Nothing could possibly replace it…but you must try.”
Margaret stared blankly and let out a slight whimper.
“Lastly,” Olivia cackled, “I need a good pizza. I would like a large with extra cheese, double anchovies and a side of limp bacon.”
Margaret’s jaw dropped. As outrageous as Aunt Olivia’s first two requests seemed, this third item seemed totally unmanageable. A good pizza in Columbus? Certainly she couldn’t be serious.
Margaret took a couple of deep breaths and gathered herself. She knew that Google would not get the job done this time. Then she had a thought—recently a friend had told her about an organization called ECDI that offered microloans to underserved entrepreneurs. Her friend mentioned that ECDI had recently launched its online B2B Directory with hundreds of small business listings and a wide range of industries and product offerings.
With nothing to lose, Margaret visited ECDI.org, clicked “Directory” and began scrolling through the easy-to-use interface.
“Hmmm…Boline Apothecary…APOTHECARY?” In the midst of her ignorant disbelief, stemming from the notion that apothecaries had been out of business since the Middle Ages, Margaret clicked on the link to Boline Apothecary’s website. In the “SHOP” section, she was delighted to find a listing of common (or not so common) aliments for which owner Lily Shahar Kunning’s store offers a remedy.
Eagerly, she clicked on “PAIN,” and to her pleasant surprise, found the perfect product for Aunt Olivia’s ailment: Migraine Remedy! Margaret penciled in Boline Apothecary in Clintonville as her first stop that day.
Next, a kayak. While she knew of the usual big-box stores that could help her with this, Margaret decided to stay with her small-business theme and, sure enough, stumbled upon another B2B profile of an ECDI client, Columbus Kayak. She would pay a visit to owner Bret Chumley and check out the cool selection of playful longboats, also conveniently located in Clintonville!
Then the dreaded moment came…Margaret couldn’t put it off any longer. It was time to find a good pizza in Columbus. Feeling undone, yet encouraged by the variety of small businesses she had already found in the ECDI B2B Directory, she decided she might as well continue pouring through the extensive list. She had also heard of ECDI’s large contingent of food-based clients, many of whom began at their esteemed Food Fort.
Sure enough, about halfway through the list, Margaret found the profile of Harvest Pizzeria, another business conveniently nestled in the Clintonville community. She decided to order in advance, and called owner Chris Crader.
Margaret placed Aunt Olivia’s disgusting order.
“Peculiar pizza choice but I’d be happy to put it together for you!” Chris exclaimed.
Thanks to ECDI’s new B2B Directory, Margaret had all of her stops mapped out conveniently close to each other, and the dreaded errand run took only a fraction of the time she had expected. With the rest of her afternoon freed up, coupled with the realization her time with Aunt Olivia was coming to an end quickly, she felt great. Not only had ECDI’s B2B Directory tracked down her Aunt’s obscure needs, it also allowed her to support local small businesses that illustrate all that Columbus has to offer.
Now that you’ve discovered the benefits of ECDI’s B2B directory, we are eager for you to utilize it! Clients will begin editing their profiles over the next few weeks, uploading the latest information regarding their business. Check it out at: directory.ecdi.org.
Check back early and often to discover what our esteemed group of small businesses can offer you!
For more information on the robust services ECDI and the Food Fort provide small businesses and budding entrepreneurs, visit ecdi.org.