The effort to create the Shop Westborough directory began with the Town of Westborough’s participation in the Local Rapid Recovery Program (LRRP), through which the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) partnered municipalities across Massachusetts with technical assistance providers to develop a project-based plan to support economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Westborough’s Rapid Recovery Plan recommended that the Town of Westborough create an online business directory to provide a shared marketing tool for local businesses, and the project was prioritized for implementation by municipal staff. In February 2022, the Town of Westborough received a $25,000 grant from the Regional Economic Development Organization (REDO) Grant Program, administered by the 495/MetroWest Partnership.
The goal of the Shop Westborough directory is to help make it easier for people shop local and, in doing so, bring new customers to Westborough businesses. The EDC aims to integrate the Shop Westborough directory with future marketing projects to support the local business community, such as a “shop local” marketing campaign, brochures to drop at Westborough hotels and other points of interest, and a wayfinding signage project. The intent is to create a tool that will help Westborough’s many residents and visitors that want to shop local. The directory provides functionality for users to find your business by keyword search, distance, industry/sector, and status as a minority-owned, women-owned, or veteran-owned business. Additionally, it’s an even playing field for local businesses, exclusive to Westborough.