Rhode Island’s first true online marketplace
Shop Local RI is your destination for one-of-a-kind products and services – made by local business owners and delivered right to your door!
How Shop Local RI Came to Be
On Friday, March 13, 2020, we went to the grocery store and got haircuts.
Who knew that those two things would be the activities we all longed for as we retreated into our homes for the duration of a spiking global pandemic.
“When the State closed down in March 2020, we were working hard to make sure that all of our Visual Thrive clients were constantly communicating with their customers. But I also realized that most small businesses were really going to struggle. I knew they weren’t going to be able to sustain their businesses if they didn’t have a digital platform to operate from immediately. So Scott and I decided to do it for them,” said Giuttari.
And in true entrepreneurial style, the brainstorming began and Scott and Lori dove in to support RI businesses. The first iteration of the site was launched in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, pulled together - from conception to deployment - in one weekend.
Visual Thrive became the creator of Rhode Island's first comprehensive business directory, ShopLocalRI.com, and then expanded that directory into a fully operational marketplace!
Creation of Shop Local RI
Speaking of this endeavor, Scott Indermaur, Indermaur Media, said, “Lori approached me with the idea, and within a few days, we had the platform up and running. She embraced a vision for business growth in RI that was really remarkable, and that gave it lots of momentum."
Rhode Island small businesses during the pandemic were worried about how they would keep their businesses engaged. Shop Local RI gave them a free digital option fast.
ShopLocalRI.com aims to provide every small business with a digital presence. With over 2,000 Rhode Island-based small businesses currently listed within the free directory, and over 60 vendors, business owners are now able to set up a digital storefront with product information, payment processing, and shipping or curbside pick-up. At the same time, consumers have a one-stop-shop shopping experience.
Our goal is help all businesses thrive - not just survive!
Today, the platform includes:
- A beautifully streamlined, fully functioning eCommerce marketplace with extreme attention to your experience.
- Robust ongoing marketing and advertising of the site to enhance online traffic for small business sales, and exposure to a wider audience than they individually have.
- NEW business support provided via the Community pages, A RI Business Forum and a Meet RI Business library will allow businesses to come together monthly! Businesses can join a free and interactive business assessment workshop with an open agenda on a range of topics. They can receive professional coaching focused on actionable growth tactics for their businesses.