May 5, 2020 – Northeastern Nevada Regional Development Authority (NNRDA) today launched its own NNRDA ZoomBusiness, an online tool that enables local businesses across the region to communicate with customers for free in real time. ZoomBusiness, created by GIS Planning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is an interactive, mobile-responsive mapping directory for communities that ensures customers can find open restaurants, stores and services in their region at no charge.

Businesses can list themselves for free on the NNRDA ZoomBusiness site to help residents find the businesses and services they need. The businesses can provide customized details including websites, modified hours, delivery or curbside pickup options, promotions and gift card stimulus programs. Residents can search for area businesses by categories, including grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, health facilities, hardware stores, pet stores and automotive shops, among others. Access to NNRDA’s ZoomBusiness site can easily be found on NNRDA’s home page at www.nnrda.com.

NNRDA’s ZoomBusiness is a simple-to-use data tool, powered by Google Maps, using various “layers” for precise queries. Businesses are prompted to directly enter information on their current status and the content is verified by NNRDA. GIS Planning also added free map layers, including a COVID-19 case map updated daily by the New York Times, and a job-loss vulnerability index using recent employment data from Chmura. This data and information can also be found on NNRDA’s home page.

NNRDAZoomBusiness tool will begin populating today with an accurate representation of openbusinesses across the region expected to be mapped within a few weeks. Further, NNRDA anticipates continual growth on the site as social distancing restrictions become more lenient.

 “Through our work with GIS Planning, we’ve been able to offer a unique resource for both businesses and the patrons they serve,” said Sheldon Mudd, Executive Director of NNRDA. “During this crisis, local businesses need every advantage we can give them, and this is another tool in their arsenal in helping to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19.”

NNRDA will continue to support local businesses in other ways, but there is nothing better than bringing residents back to the restaurants, shops and services that make their communities so distinctive.

“Main street businesses are truly the lifeblood of a community,” says Alissa Sklar, vice president of marketing for GIS Planning. “According to FEMA, up to 40% of small businesses never reopen after a major disaster. With ZoomBusiness, we want to help make sure the local restaurants, retailers and service providers that define local communities are still there to serve area residents when this pandemic is over.”

Following the COVID-19 recovery, data experts at GIS Planning forecast continued use of the directory to promote small and medium-sized businesses across North America.