SCRANTON, Pa. — In Lackawanna County, it is an effort to boost small business.
A new website is launching soon called LackawannaMarkets.com.
The site launches July 1 as a place for people to shop from small, locally owned businesses and artists.
“Online shopping is just going to grow regardless of the health crisis, so how do we again get in on that? I think there are people all over the world and the country who are from this area and would like to shop and that’s the beauty of the virtual world, you can appeal to anybody," said Maureen McGuigan deputy director of arts and culture for Lackawanna County.
Health concerns forced organizers to cancel their annual events like the Lackawanna Summer and Winter Markets, so developers came up with this idea instead to support local artists, crafters, and vendors virtually and create a sort of catalog of those businesses.
"If you search a business directory for the city of Scranton, let alone one for Lackawanna County, but the city of Scranton, you’ll find one from 1889. You won’t find one from now," said Brian Murray of Anthracite Events.
The idea may have come from the COVID crisis, but it’s not necessarily a temporary fix. This website could be here to stay.
“The people that are doing this are so passionate and you can’t help but be passionate because they’re so passionate. It’s almost not fair because it’s so much fun," said Alysia Scazafavo of Anthracite Events.
The developers of Lackawannamarkets.com say many small businesses have been hit hard by the health crisis and are struggling to get their names and products out. This may be just what they need.