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Helena engineer encourages: Support Helena business online

Posted at 10:24 PM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 00:24:12-04

HELENA — Businesses across Montana and the country might have shut their doors amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but many have not closed up shop.

Instead, they are shifting to online sales, and carry out orders.

This is a move that is sometimes easier said than done.

That’s where Scott Bouma is hoping to make a difference.

“There’s tons of people that I know in Helena that want to shop local, and help them out but right now it’s hugely fragmented," Bouma said. "There are restaurants posting menus on Facebook, photos and menus with phone numbers.”

The Helena based software engineer and owner of Caffeic Coffee Roasters looked at this pandemic and saw an opportunity to help.

“If we could just find one easy place where everybody in Helena can put their products online and say, here’s how I’ll get them to you," added Bouma. "You could basically think of it like an Amazon for local Helena consumers and retailers.”

After reaching out on the Facebook group Small Businesses of Helena, Scott received enough interest from local businesses to start building this type of e-commerce website.

Scott is trying to turn this negative into a positive.

“it’s probably scary time, I’m sure, if you are a brick and mortar retailer, but I think it’s also an opportunity time," said Scott. "This is the time to get my business online, and figure out how we can meld that online versus brick and mortar, and find out how we can still bring people together and embrace the technology that everybody is embracing already.”

Click here to check out the Shop in Town marketplace

If you would like to learn more information about the marketplace or get involved you can send Scott an email at scott@shopintown.org.