Booster of ‘buy local’ develops directory to locally owned firms
Tired of seeing dozens of local businesses fail during two years of economic turmoil, Dave Asher created an online directory of local businesses that Reno-Sparks consumers could frequent to help bolster the region’s flagging economy.
Asher says he’s compiled close to 2,800 locally owned businesses in the Reno-Sparks region on the livelocalrenosparks.com Web site.
“I built this to help turn our economy around,” says Asher. “I am one of first in the whole country to create a list of every independently owned business for free I am like the Google of locally owned.”
Asher estimates he’s put in about 60 hours a week the past few months establishing the database of local businesses. The idea is part of a national movement, he says, called the 10-percent shift.
“If we shift 10 percent of what we spend to locally owned businesses, we can create $350 million in revenue that’s staying in Reno-Sparks,” Asher says.
Asher says each listing took at least five minutes of research, and compiling the lists took many weeks behind the computer. He also struggled initially to find the computer software program that would allow him to link to businesses’ Web sites and provide Google maps of the establishments.
“It took months to get the right software this is about the fourth time I’ve started this project.”
The new software package also allows Asher to build Web sites for clients and teach them how to update them. He plans to cash in on the project by selling memberships to the site for businesses that need Web sites and Internet marketing services. Memberships start at $200 annually.
“If you are going to get your car worked on, go to Greg’s Garage. If you are going to go to a casino, go to the Eldorado. It’s one thing to preach to buy local, but I’m providing a directory that supports that theme,” he says.
With the food industry suffering from decreased supply and increased demand due to COVID-19, UNR and Wolf Pack Meats have increased production to help local producers and ranchers stay in business.