Why Small Businesses Matter
Shop small, do big things for your community
Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!
You're IT RidgefieldMarketplace.com!
Four questions with Brian Armstrong and Jake Cascioli, co-founders of RidgefieldMarketplace.com.
Why did you start your business?
The idea for RidgefieldMarketplace.com started in December of 2018. We were driving through town and noticed 5 or 6 vacant shops on Main St., including some businesses that had recently closed. We couldn't believe there were so many closures in the middle of the biggest retail holiday season! We also noticed plenty of brown boxes on everyone's porches. It was then that we knew we had to do something to try to help our small businesses compete with the giant online retailers.
What is your best-selling product/service?
After trying a few different ideas, we've found that e-gift cards are our best sellers. Especially during Covid, our e-gift cards allow shoppers to make contactless purchases and download them at the same time. Our e-gift cards also never expire, so that gives our customers the freedom to redeem them whenever they like. In addition, we also offer an "All Access" card that operates as a universal gift card in town and allows our customers to redeem it at any of the nearly 50 in-town merchants on our site.
How many local businesses do you use to support your business (products and services) and can you name them?
Since the beginning, our goal was to exclusively use local merchants, whenever possible. To that end, we use Fairfield County Bank for our business accounts, we use SCS Agency for our insurance, we used Claudia Pacifico photography for some of the pictures on our site, Squash's for printing, and Tiger Sports for our polos. In addition, we also try to have all of our business meetings at some of the local restaurants on our site, including Bailey's Backyard, Brickhouse Pizza, Hunan Noodle Bar, Nature's Temptations, PIY-Pizza It Yourself, Sucre Sale, Tazza, Tequila Escape, V.Thai, & Wooster Hollow.
Have you "reimagined" your small business?
Like many other businesses in town, when Covid hit, we needed to pivot. First off, we didn't charge any commissions during the height of the pandemic - we wanted to make sure our merchants pulled through intact. Secondly, since so many of our merchants were busy trying to stay afloat, we decided not to burden them with the task of updating their inventory on our site. Instead, we switched to offering e-gift cards exclusively, which made it more convenient for both our merchants and shoppers.
Brian and Jake would like to nominate Premier Outdoor Living & Landscaping to be featured next!
HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!