ShopLocalRhodeIsland's Story

On Friday, March 13, 2020, we went to the grocery store and got haircuts. Who knew that those would be the activities we longed for as we retreated into our homes for the duration of a spiking global pandemic. 

While sewing masks for a team of respiratory therapists in RI, Lori began to think about how customers would find the things they needed, or if businesses were open for curbside pick-up or delivery, or if neighborhood shops were available and open at all.  

Meanwhile, Visual Thrive, Lori and Scott's marketing organization, was working furiously to support business clients with internal and external communications about what was happening. They knew people were hungry for information, and that by creating a place for business information to be readily available, would quell A LOT of fear.  

Lori said, "Scott, I have an idea ... How about we create a site that gives every business a digital platform, a web page, in which they can change communicate directly to their customers everyday?" Many small businesses didn't have websites. And in true entrepreneurial style, the brainstorming began and they dove in to support RI businesses.

Visual Thrive became the creator of Rhode Island's first comprehensive business directory, ShopLocalRhodeIsland.com, now a fully operational marketplace!

After a non-stop weekend of work, ShopLocalRhodeIsland.com was launched!  We sincerely hope that the site supports the hundreds of small businesses in our communities that depend on local growth, and now have a new stream of revenue.

We are grateful for the leadership of Rhode Island's Lt. Governor, now Rhode Island's Governor, Dan McKee. He noticed our work and invited us to join his weekly business updates. Months later, Rhode Island Commerce joined forces with us, and helped us spread the word far and wide.

The State of Rhode Island, Rhode Islanders, and our business community are incredibly resilient. Now, with over 2,000 businesses listed on the site, we move forward.

Our goal is to let RI businesses grow, and our hope is that you find everything you need - right here in Little Rhody!