As a small business owner, Carl Baldesare knows the headaches associated with growing a company. With a background as a small business advisor and, more recently, owner of Specialty Renovations
construction company, Baldesare grew frustrated with the expense and limited resources available in growing his small company.
Then about nine months ago, Baldesare had an idea for growing all the small businesses in Cleveland: Keep it Local Cleveland Project
. “I just started wondering, why don’t people help these small businesses out,” he recalls. “I realized number one is they didn’t know the business existed, or they were afraid to try it.”
The Keep it Local Cleveland Project is a membership based group dedicated to promoting and growing small businesses of all kinds in Cleveland. Businesses can run promotions and specials through the website. “I created an all-encompassing Cleveland chamber,” Baldesare boasts. “We connect local people to local businesses. We do this by telling you where to find them, and give you a little incentive to find them.”
Member businesses get access to monthly networking events, a mention on social media and radio, and promotion on Keep it Local’s website marketplace. “It’s a pretty slick setup,” says Baldesare. Consumers can access deals and promotions, or simply research local businesses. “When you buy from independent local businesses, more of your money goes to other independent local businesses.”
The project already has generated a loyal following, with more than 3,000 followers on Facebook
. The organization now has five employees.
Keep it Local Cleveland officially kicks off on Sunday with a free concert at the Beachland Ballroom
featuring local bands, of course. A ticket
is required to get into the concert.
Source: Carl Baldesare
Writer: Karin Connelly