The Importance of Online Community During Shelter in Place

If there is one thing we learned this month, it is the value of having an online presence and community.

As the Shelter in Place was enacted a few weeks ago, there were many restrictions as to how business was going to be done moving forward. I believe some of these changes will have a long lasting effect on how we do business moving forward long after this Covid-19 situation settles down.

When The SID took effect, the small local businesses that sustained the longest were those that were online in some way, shape, or form. Many of the small local businesses that closed shop had no idea there was an entire community of individuals who wanted to support them, because they were not online to witness it for themselves, nor share their new hours or business operations.

Marina Community

Back in September of 2019, I decided to create a private Facebook Group for our small community in Marina, Ca.. It was a place for sharing, encouragement, fun, and community, and not so much a place for politics, self-promotion, and negativity. It is a group for the community, run by the community.

In light of our current events, this is turning out to be the hub of sharing information for our community. It is where we learn about what is going on in various neighborhoods, with local businesses and business owners, where we are organizing task forces for helping our local small business owners and people in need who have lost jobs, or simply cannot get out for groceries or meals.

It has turned out to be a great place to organize and remain social.

In light of current events and our own SIP in effect, we have changed up the rules a bit to allow local business owners and community members to make business announcements and give us updates as frequently as they would like. This has already helped our local business community and neighbors.

In fact, this week alone we had 100+ new members request to join because there is a need for reliable and unbiased community communications, especially during times like these.

Are You a Local Business Owner? Get Involved Now!

If you are a local business owner and are not online, then you need to get online asap. And I am not talking about Yelp. You need to start building your own online community so that you can relay important information to your online community during times like these. Start by building out your Facebook page and join Marina Community on Facebook.

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If you do not have a website but you are looking for an affordable solution, reach out to Monterey Premier for help getting started.

Help Your Community with your Social Media Skills

If you are experienced with Social Media and leading FB groups, and are not sure how you can help during times like these, this is a great opportunity to help out. Contact your local City officials (school, police, fire, and general), Chamber of Commerce, and Rotary Clubs to see if you can help coordinate all their efforts in a community Facebook group.

Get yourself some reliable moderators to help out so you do not have to do all the work. Our group has a wonderful vibe and we are learning so much about our own community through this endeavor.

If you have any questions or need some advice, please comment below.

 

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Geno is the Immediate Past President of the Marina Chamber of Commerce. He is also the owner of Monterey Premier. He is husband to Vivien Quiroz. They have two wonderful boys, and two needy dogs. He is passionate about Jesus, family, and building community. When not doing any of the above, you can find Geno building websites for his clients located all over the world, and blogging on Quiroz.co, MontereyPremier.com, ConnectMarina.com, and here on MarinaChamber.com
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