In 2021, the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce was examining some of the challenges that their small businesses were facing and they discovered that many businesses, due to exorbitant pricing or logistical issues, were having trouble shipping and/or delivering their items. They also wanted to give small businesses the ability to compete with larger retailers – especially during the holiday shopping season.
“We had an idea: what if we offered local vendors on Shop Staten Island, our Shop Where I Live marketplace, free shipping for the holiday season? Thus, the Small Business Holiday Express was born,” said Dominic Provenzano, Marketing and Communications Manager for the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. “Thanks to a significant grant by Amazon, the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce was able to offer Shop Staten Island vendors free delivery to Staten Island residents from October 2021 through February 14th, 2022, providing a tremendous perk for businesses selling on our marketplace.”
To help execute the program, the Member Marketplace team worked closely with the Chamber and the local delivery service to:
- Create the new free delivery option on the marketplace that only local customers could select during checkout based on zip code.
- Create a delivery request system for sellers to submit their information for pickup for orders placed.
- The local delivery courier received an instant notification and picked up the item from the seller and delivered it to the purchaser, entirely free of charge for both the seller and purchaser.
According to Dominic, the initiative was a great success that offered additional value to Shop Staten Island sellers, especially in the midst of the pandemic. When they discussed the opportunity with one vendor, they responded with: This is amazing. Our prayers have been answered.
“Since October, we have more than doubled the items sold compared to the previous year. This is thanks largely in part to the Small Business Holiday Express program, which delivered hundreds of items – from coffee beans, to gift baskets, to holiday ornaments – directly to the homes of Staten Islanders. We thank Amazon for making this a reality, as well as Shop Where I Live for their assistance in getting the initiative off the ground!”
Member Marketplace, Inc. is a new wave of economic development, making it easy to shop small, local businesses, online.
Now operating in 18 states, our clients include state and local government organizations, tourism bureaus, chambers of commerce, Small Business Development Centers, and other business support organizations throughout the U.S. We empower organizations to unify their businesses online and connect them with customers through one local marketplace. We manage the platform, support and train businesses, and provide customer service to shoppers. Our partners can now market one website and bring exposure to all of their local businesses, while making it easy for consumers to buy products and services through one site.
Member Marketplace operates these local, online, small business marketplaces.