WEDC launches online retail portal

Posted on May 27, 2020 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive
Jessica Thiel
Posted by of Insight Publications

A new online retail portal is now available to connect shoppers within and beyond Wisconsin’s borders with more than 230 Main Street businesses across Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

The  website provides a searchable database of more than 230 locally owned shops that offer online sales and shipping. Visitors can choose to search by geography or product category.

“Local small businesses have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. “This is a great opportunity to help sustain local and small businesses in our downtown districts throughout Wisconsin.”

Many small businesses affected by the pandemic have had difficulty letting customers know their favorite products are still available online, while buyers who have sought alternatives to chain stores and major online retailers haven’t always known where to look. The Main Street Marketplace helps businesses and consumers make these connections while also showcasing the variety of retail offerings available in Wisconsin.

More than 230 shops are listed on the site, offering a wide array of goods, including specialty food, apparel, home goods, toys and gifts. To be listed, shops must be located in one of the 34 Wisconsin Main Street communities. Additional offerings from local businesses in Connect Communities member communities will be added in the future. A map of the Main Street communities is available here.

Wisconsin Main Street is a community development program administered by WEDC that targets Wisconsin’s historic commercial districts. WEDC provides technical support and training to the 34 Main Street communities to help them revitalize their business districts based on guidelines developed by the National Main Street Center.