Outreach and Publicity
After our interviews with these small business owners, we recognize that communication and outreach to businesses is an important step to develop the initial connections between NRZs and businesses. One of the issues might be about the lack of advertising and publicity. If NRZs want to provide support for small businesses, the first step may be to build trust and relationships with them. The NRZs can spread flyers and brochures to the small businesses and introduce themselves to the neighborhood. They can also create social media accounts such as Twitter and Instagram to spread their reputations.
Activities to Engage with Broader Community
Community organizations should not only build engagement with small businesses but the rest of the neighborhood. The neighborhood is not just the location for small businesses, many employees and their families live in the community. As a result, while these community partner organizations are focusing on small businesses, they can also pay attention to community cultural development as well. For example, NRZs can hold festival parties for the children of these business owners or concerts for music enthusiasts. Within these opportunities, the NRZs can demonstrate their values and uniqueness to the rest of the community, it is also a very good opportunity to demonstrate their reputations to the neighborhood.
One of the reasons that many business owners have positive and efficient engagement with SAMA may be because it is located right on Park Street, which is very convenient for people to visit the organization. If the locations for NRZs are not that ideal, perhaps the NRZs can try to hold regular activities in some small businesses in the neighborhood. Online meetings through Zoom can be helpful too.
Broader coalitions and partnerships may be developed to provide sustainable, long term relations among different stakeholders and organizations such as;
- Personal engagement by city representatives from the Economic Development Office with specific focus on small businesses.
- Engagement of small businesses in coordination with CT Economic Development Office, CT Department of Labor, and representatives from the Small Business Administration
- Partner with neighborhood community-based organizations such as SAMA and SINA in Frog Hollow.
- Re-allocated funding through community-based organizations by grants and low-interest loans.