Wolf Administration Works With Amazon Web Services To Help Small Retailers

The program will help Pennsylvania businesses, employees and communities thrive

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin today announced a new program with Amazon Web Services (AWS) that will expand e-commerce opportunities for Pennsylvania small businesses and help residents to buy local while shopping online.

“In this new economic landscape brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers want to do more of their shopping online,” said Sec. Davin. “It’s more important than ever for small businesses to be able to sell their products online. This partnership with AWS is a key part of our increased efforts to help small businesses expand their e-commerce presence or start selling their products online for the first time.

Through an innovative new online marketplace for small businesses in Pennsylvania and expanded technical support offerings through the PA Business One Stop Shop, small businesses will be able to expand their visibility online – and traditional retailers that don’t currently sell products online will have the opportunity to expand into the online space for the first time.

DCED worked with AWS on the development of a new searchable online directory containing only Pennsylvania companies that sell products online. This will allow Commonwealth consumers to search and buy online from businesses near them, which supports local mom-and-pop stores while strengthening the local community and economy.

In addition to searching by location, shoppers will also be able to search for small businesses by product type and whether a business is minority, LGBTQ, Native American, or female. The service will be free to businesses and consumers and is designed to promote a local shopping culture in the Commonwealth. DCED plans to launch the platform for consumers in early 2022.

“Small businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19, and this innovative program in Pennsylvania will allow consumers to shop directly from local retailers, boosting the local economy and creating an online portal for Pennsylvanians to sell and shop. buy locally, ”said Kim Majerus, vice president, state and local government and education for Amazon Web Services. “AWS appreciates the leadership of Governor Tom Wolf, and we look forward to working toward our common goal of supporting the local businesses and the customers they serve. ”

The new online directory is part of a larger plan by the Wolf administration to support small businesses by enhancing e-commerce opportunities. These efforts will include significantly expanded e-commerce education, training, and general best practices to increase online sales. These additional e-commerce resources and services will be available through the PA Business One Stop Shop, in partnership with the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) of Pennsylvania. Additionally, DCED provided $ 300,000 to support Temple University’s SBDC. Pennsylvania E-Commerce and Digital Transformation Program Initiative (PADTEP), which will improve e-commerce opportunities for small businesses in Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.

Data shows that a estimated at 60 percent of US consumers have visited brick-and-mortar stores less often since the start of 2021. For small retailers experiencing a prolonged decline in foot traffic, selling products online is vital to their future success. The Wolf administration’s innovative efforts to expand e-commerce support for small businesses will help these businesses adapt to changing trends towards online consumer activity.

For more information on the Ministry of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website and be sure to stay up to date with all news from our agency on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Penny Ickes, DCED, [email protected]

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