By Kristina Nedorosleva, Owner of Closet Connection
Southie has a wealth of small business owners who not only work here, but also live here. We all know that our small businesses are responsible for two-thirds of all new jobs. And study after study has shown that when you shop locally, nearly one-half of your spending stays here. Small businesses are the lifeblood of Southie and, as small business owners, we all want to get new customers in the door.
Southie Shops Support One Another
If you’re one of the hundreds of small business owners in Southie, chances are you refer your customers to other small businesses in the area. Let’s face it, most of us have our own “niche.” When our customers want something we don’t have, it makes sense to refer them to another small business, because keeping customers shopping in Southie is good for everyone.
Beyond referrals, there are other ways for small business owners to band together, helping one another’s businesses. I began working with a local startup called Nift this past year- they are an invitation-only network that helps neighborhood businesses get the right local customers to walk through the door. As a participating merchant, you can hand out Nift (short for “neighborhood gift”) cards to your best customers, encouraging them to discover another local business. Don’t worry, you’ll never send a customer to a competitor. In return, other businesses give their customers gifts, sending those new customers to you. The benefit is these customers stay shopping in Southie, they discover new places, and they tell their friends.
Nift is Throwing a Giftfest
My store, the Closet Connection, and many other businesses in the area, including Del Frisco’s, Rock Spot Climbing, C2 Fortress, Sixth Gear Cask & Kitchen, and Ocean Prime, are participating in Nift’s Giftfest on June 21st. This is the day that Boston tech companies will be giving their employees Nift gift cards. If you join the Nift Network, these professionals will have a chance to stop in and see what you have to offer and, as a result, you get new customers in the door. More customers mean more sales — and more sales are good for every Southie business.
It’s not too late for you to join Nift and get involved in this year’s Giftfest. If you’re a South Boston business and want to be part of the Nift Network and participate in the Giftfest, simply sign up at www.niftgiftfest.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.