Hampton Roads business owners helping each other during the pandemic

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Posted at 3:35 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 18:20:42-05

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – A grassroots business support group called Locals Helping Locals 757 is helping not just business owners, but members of the community.

The marketing coordinator for Hunt Club Farm, Conrad Brinkman, created the group in the spring when the pandemic hit businesses especially hard. It started with just a few members.

“Since then, it’s grown exponentially. We’re always welcoming new members,” said Kendall Snyder, Sales and Marketing Coordinator for iFly Virginia Beach.

The group meets weekly online. They offer advice and cross-advertise each other’s businesses through a Facebook page and a free app that has a directory, customer discounts and event listings.

“It’s also a great way to help military members who are new to the area to get connected,” said Katie Romeo, owner of Katie’s Kickers swim school.

“To have a conglomeration of other business owners who are really saying, ‘What else can I do? How else can I improve to make people feel safe and comfortable?’ and allow them to start gaining their sense of normalcy,” explained Romeo.

The app is free. For those interested in joining the group as a business owner, there is no charge; however, if you’d like to be listed on the app, there is a small fee, according to Snyder.

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