JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla — A new, grassroots marketing campaign is providing free marketing for small businesses in the Beaches communities in an effort to rally the community.
Online and on social media, Beaches 2.0 is targeting consumers from Atlantic Beach to Ponte Vedra and promoting local businesses that have reopened after COVID-19 shutdowns.
"We really wanted to be, and I think have become, kind of a one-stop-shop for a lot of different information around the beaches," said co-founder Chris Hoffman, who serves as a Jacksonville Beach councilperson and as the Executive Director of Beaches Museum.
As businesses began to shutter, Hoffman reached out to Holly Smith-Hale, the owner of local firm Hen House Marketing. Two months ago, started on the plan for the new initiative as places started to open back up.
“What we did know was the struggle was real on so many levels and that we wanted to be part of the solution,” says Smith-Hale. “We work with businesses every day addressing challenges and opportunities alike. Doing something positive and encouraging is our opportunity to help out."
For small businesses like T-Dubs in the Beaches Town Center, marketing and advertising costs are not in the budget during the age of COVID-19.
Jessica Podloski, the General Manager of T-Dubs, said having a way to let the community know the store is open for business and functioning around social distancing guidelines is vital.
"None of us have money to spend out in that arena, so for a local organization to come out and offer promotions for our company is huge," Podloski said.