Novocastrian, Author, and Speaker, Evan Sutter is the creator of a new shop local initiative that aims to revitalise small businesses, local communities, and our natural environment.
The One Cool Thing + Happy Business Initiative is focused on giving small businesses more resources, and ideas, to easily improve their business and improve how they interact with their employees, the environment, the community, and customers.
And, importantly, connect them with more customers, visitors, and job candidates who can easily identify them as a business that is doing more.
As more people move to an online world to shop, eat, and work, local communities will face more challenges. While the online world becomes increasingly innovative, driving record growth in participation, we must find new ways to encourage people to spend their time and money back in the local community.
“The goal is to give people more reasons to spend their time and money locally and not online and at big corporations. It is our hope that the result will be a business precinct that is more creative offline, with less vacant shops, more foot traffic and re energised streets,” Evan said.
“We can’t just tell people to shop local, we need to provide more incentive for them to do so. When we see local businesses, and we know the faces behind them, doing that little bit more to look after our friends and our planet, we should want to support them more than the big company that doesn’t really care about the future of our community and ecosystems.”
Hapzly Founder, Evan Sutter saw a need to be more engaging when it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), especially when it comes to small businesses and local communities.
He thought that making it simple and engaging will be a better way to connect the top-down and the bottom-up aspects of business.
Current CSR initiatives (from the top down) engage economic, social, and environmental aspects, but lack the ‘human’ factor so it doesn’t engage everyday people well.
Conscious consumerism (from the bottom-up) can fail to engage wider populations of people, and certainly doesn’t engage business, so they fail to create lasting impact for their business and communities.
Chair of Mayfield Business Improvement Association, Warren Pulbrook said this business project highlights ways business owners can improve their promotion and support one another.
“This project aims to give business owners new ideas for improving themselves whilst building support networks and trust with employees, customers and the wider community. The idea is to kickstart greater connection from business to consumer and create a community of care and support,” Warren said.
Dr Kath Teagle of Mayfield Business Improvement Association agreed, saying the timing was more important than ever to connect the business community.
“Now more than ever it is important for people to feel connected. COVID Lockdown left a lot of people feeling isolated and anxious,” Kath said.
“Some people were stressed when first returning to work given the new government health guidelines. The overall feeling during this time is that people want to support their small local businesses. This makes it easier.”
The One Cool Thing + Happy Business initiative simply encourages businesses to commit to implementing a new idea that benefits their people, planet, customers, or community (which all benefits their business) from over 100 ideas in The Ideas Pool.
There they will access guided meditations to look after the wellbeing of their employees, get branding and marketing to promote their business, including the Happy Business sticker to attract shoppers seeking an ethical and sustainable business.
The happiest businesses will be recognised across social media, in The Ideas Pool, on the Hapzly website and at the Coolest and Happiest awards.
To participate, click here.
IMAGE | The One Cool Thing + Happy Business Initiative Founder, Evan Sutter at a keynote presentation in Amsterdam.
The vision of the Mayfield Business Improvement Association is to add value to the precinct’s unique qualities as a business hub by working as part of a larger network of stakeholders that can advance its competitiveness and position. In practical terms it aims to promote the development, beautification and advancement of local businesses within the area through a coordinated and structured promotion, advocacy and planning program. This Business Improvement Association is provided funding annually from the City of Newcastle to further these goals.