HUDSON — During the 2013 Christmas season, Gwyn Pastertrek noticed a trend in her Facebook news feed: Several Facebook friends were posting colorful memes encouraging others to “Buy Local” and “Keep Your Dollars in Pasco.”
With major retailers like Amazon offering tempting deals on mass-produced products, local businesses are often the ones who are impacted the most. Inspired by the “Buy Local” posts, Pastertrek created the “Pasco Local Business Board” online to highlight local retailers, artisans, nonprofit groups, restaurants and events, and is looking for small businesses in Pasco communities to list on it for free.
A community calendar lists local events by month and day and business names are listed alphabetically under “East,” “Central” or West” Pasco tags.
“We are always seeing pleas every holiday season to shop locally and keep your dollars local so I got the idea to create a directory and community calendar specifically for local businesses that operate solely in Pasco County,” Pastertrek said. “In this way, when a Pasco citizen looks for something to do one weekend, all they need do is click on the community calendar link and all the sales, sponsored charity events, local festivals, or more are listed on the calendar. They can also see an alphabetical listing of businesses specifically in their area.”
Pastertrek, who has dabbled in website creation using a variety of free online tools, created the website in November 2013 and is looking to flesh it out further with local businesses who just have to email firstname.lastname@example.org with a phot and synopsis of the business or event, the only requirement being that the organization or vender lives in and creates their goods in Pasco County.
“All of this is done for free and is in the interest of our community - not for lining anyone’s pocket, except supporting our own infrastructure,” Pastertrek said. “My dream is to have every single small business in Pasco County listed, have them actively using the calendar, put their faces forward in their own little video commercials, and have this site be available in local tourist publications.”
Pastertrek, a Pasco County resident since 1984, is sitting for her real estate exam in February and will continue to work with Florida Luxury Realty, a West Pasco realty company.
“We wanted to create a place that with one simple link, citizens & visitors of Pasco can focus on keeping their dollars right where they live,” the website says on it’s “About” page. “A richer, local economy provides better schools and infrastructure, without us having to rely on the State or Federal government so much and allows us to provide better for our families.”
Whether the business is a local bakery or an individual making and selling handmade candles, Pastertrek wants them to be listed on the site to help locals find places to spend their money in the community. She hopes to expand the list of events and businesses in time for the next holiday season.
For more information and to view the business board, visit http://pascosmallbiz.webs.com.