How do you build a business-to-business marketplace for a small town?

In response to “Want to develop your small town? Start with your assets, Luther Snow says,” two of you asked for more information about facilitating business-to-business marketplaces.

Simone Cahoj said in a comment:

I’d love some more ideas about facilitating a business-to-business marketplace. We have tried this but I think we need a different approach! :)

And Jim Ellis asked on Facebook for examples. So I’m asking you, too!

Poster for "Let's Do Business, Tulsa"

One example I’ve seen in a big city and liked was Let’s Do Business Tulsa. It provides an online directory of what’s available within the greater metropolitan area. That helps businesses find local sources for things they already buy. In many cases, they are able to cut the total cost by going with a  local or regional supplier.

Notice that Tulsa chose to promote the entire region, not just their town. You should do the same: pull together a whole region for local sourcing. (How you define your region is up to you, and whatever makes sense for local commerce.)

What small-town or small-region examples of a business-to-business marketplace have you seen? What lessons can you share?

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