A new Denver-based startup called Shop Sidewalk Inc. and the city’s Denver Economic Development & Opportunity (DEDO) have partnered to provide locally-owned brick-and-mortar businesses a free e-commerce platform to help small businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

A news release states that “the pandemic has driven a significant amount of consumer activity online as customers look for safe, contactless ways to shop for items while mitigating the spread of COVID-19. As a result, many brick-and-mortar retail stores without effective online sales channels have seen significant losses in revenue.”

Shop Sidewalk’s e-commerce platform makes use of geolocation and is designed to help potential customers find and purchase products in close proximity to their neighborhood, in addition to providing an online presence for Denver businesses that currently have little to none.

“We are excited to partner with Sidewalk to help Denver retailers access and improve their use of online sales channels that enables them to generate revenue, while operating within public health and safety guidelines,” said Eric Hiraga, executive director of DEDO, in a news release. “Micro and small businesses are the backbone of our local economy and we want to continue offering all the support that we can, to not only survive this crisis but to thrive long after this has passed.”

The news release says all small brick-and-mortar retail businesses within the city of Denver are encouraged to sign up for Shop Sidewalk’s free e-commerce marketplace. The news release adds that specific outreach efforts “will focus on small businesses in neighborhoods where some of the city’s most underserved communities are experiencing rapid socioeconomic changes and are the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“It is critical to make sure that our local retailers are able to access customers online, and have a platform to compete with other online options,” said Lizzy Lee, CEO and co-founder of Sidewalk, in the news release. “Sidewalk’s platform gets local businesses online, helps customers find and buy local, all while strengthening our community and local economy.”

To learn more, visit www.shopsidewalk.com.