April Underwood, Founder and CEO of Nearby, on why the future of retail is just around the corner

When shelter-in-place was introduced last March, my heart immediately ached for the business owners in my town. The prior year, I’d observed local businesses close forever after a preemptive four-day power outage during fire season. I knew that a shutdown of not just days but weeks or months would present an existential threat to the businesses that make my community vibrant and unique. Those businesses relied on foot traffic to get discovered and make sales — and that foot traffic had vanished overnight.

But local business owners are resilient. They didn’t waste time. They started taking phone orders, launched online…

Here are just some of the people who have made our pilot marketplace in Oakland a roaring success.

When we launched our pilot Keep Oakland Alive, we wanted to help locals get to know the neighborhood retailers that make The Town vibrant and shop their goods in a unified storefront that made supporting your local shops as easy as well, shopping on Amazon.

What we started in The Town has since become a movement, with 40+ local shop owners leading the charge. The community has astounded us with their support and Oaklanders have shown up in a major way for small businesses — spending $100,000 on their local shops.

We’d like to introduce you to a few of…


The best independent shops in your town, all together at nearbyhq.com

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