Project Hometown has Launched in Shasta County!

Joe: Good morning and welcome to the Being Found Show. I’m your host, Cloud Wise Joe, with my co-host, Chancy Haworth. If you’re listening to this show, you’ve got a better chance of being found by more buying customers. That’s just a promise. It’s also the best hour in radio for business. We are your guide to being found by more buying customers.

In local news, Project Hometown has officially kicked off. This is a big deal. You can see it on the home page of Redding.com and there have been a few articles done about it. This is something that anyone who’s listening to show knows that I had been working on, but really at some point in the last six months or so, this got bigger than me.

Project Hometown, the Shasta Economic Development Corporation (Shasta EDC), and Pacific Sky are all working together to make this what it is. The list of organizations who are supporting it will officially launch this week. It has been on our home page, and you can take a look at a recently published article on Record Searchlight about Project Hometown. I want to read a little bit of what’s on the homepage, to help make sense of what Project Hometown is all about.

Let me try my first attempt at explaining what Project Hometown is and what it means to our community. It’s not a technology platform; it’s not even a business. Project Hometown is an agreement and a movement between the local web developers and the local business organization community. The schools have all come together to help local businesses have a presence, not just any old presence but an e-commerce presence in selling your services and products the way people want to buy.

We’ve developed a framework to make it inexpensive. We’ve set out to get all 17,000 businesses in Shasta County online the way people want to buy and imagine that for a second. There’s currently right now somewhere between 500 – 1000 websites that are from Shasta County that register as being not mobile friendly. They’re not e-commerce, and they’re hardly found. So we have almost no digital presence are our customers in Shasta County when they go to look for a service or product. A lot of them are finding stuff from outside of Shasta County, but we also don’t pull anybody in of any consequence from outside the county. There are no new customers that we pull in, so imagine if just the simple shift was made where all the business in Shasta County had an online presence, a good one the way it was supposed to be done.

Well, to do that, there is not enough money in the world for it to be free. So what we had to do was we had to come up with some framework so that we made sure that the right things were done for really low costs and we also made sure that the local web developers would live up to this criteria to build this at a really low cost. I’m talking 750 bucks. So that we have the labor to do this, we’ve involved the local high schools and Cloud Wise Academy trains those high school kids to help these web developers build websites for the community.

Local businesses win because they finally have an online presence. Our community wins because our local businesses are finally tapping into the new economy and bringing in revenue. Our students win cause they’re learning relevant skills for their future. Even our tech community wins because they’re getting more exposure to working with these local businesses which increases their customer pool.

Chauncey: You described that well, but can you describe Project Hometown in two sentences?

Joe: Tony Giovaniello, Shasta EDC President, describes it better than I do, he’s good at explaining Project Hometown in just a few words. Tony was recently quoted on Redding.com,“We’re building one business at a time together. Every business has to take responsibility to do this, but we’re all doing it together.”

“The goal of Project Hometown is to produce a framework and pathway for our local companies to not only participate in the growing digital marketplace but to excel versus companies in other communities,” Giovaniello said in a recent news release.

We don’t know of any other community doing anything like this. So strictly from a pride of community perspective, help us pull this off because if we could pull this off as a community, this is incredible. I imagine 17,000 businesses all online drawing gravity of customers, and that is huge. We are officially live; we have high school kids getting permits, we’ve got them trained.

How do businesses sign up?? Well, right now you apply because we couldn’t take all 17,000 at once and we’ve got to make sure you’re in Shasta County and there are some other criteria that need to be met. You can go to Projecthometown.com and read more about it.

You can see our two pricing options which are $500 and $750. You can see all the people that are involved, and there’s a nice little web form, so fill it out, and you are officially applied. Someone will get right back to you. Join and help any way you can.

Thank you for listening to this segment of the Being Found Show, to hear the full show listen here: Being Found Show Episode #49 or subscribe to our podcast.