JARC, WHEDco host pair of social media webinars for small business owners

The Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco), in partnership with the Jerome Avenue Revitalization Collaborative and the Southern Boulevard Merchant Association, hosted a pair of webinars in June — one in English and one in Spanish — dedicated to promoting basic social media strategies for small businesses.

The webinars were hosted on Instagram Live by WHEDco intern Luna Mora, and featured the perspective of Jessica Betancourt, the owner of the Bronx Optical Center, an eyewear store located just off of the Jerome Avenue corridor on Burnside Avenue. Each live workshop was attended by a number of local business owners, who posed many questions about how to keep their business relevant on social media in the chat.

Mora and Betancourt were also joined for the Spanish webinar by Morgan Stanley Community Development Graduate Fellow Jonathan Bonilla and Sharon Quituisaca, the constituent services manager for New York City Council Member Pierina Sanchez.

Mora stressed how social media allows business owners to “interact with people from all over the world,” which can enable them to take their business to “another level.” She mentioned the importance of making a public account, creating Instagram stories, posting consistently, uploading a noticeable logo, and writing a useful description.

Betancourt then spoke about how she has used social media to expand her small business’ reach. She also answered some of Mora’s and the audience’s questions about the importance of friendly customer service, the value of posting to Instagram almost every day, and her role as a member of the BJT Bronx Merchant Association.

“The purpose of the Instagram Live was to connect, motivate and guide small business owners to use social media to promote their business,” Mora said. “It is essential to know basic social media strategies to capture more customers, offer your products/services and elevate your business to another level. We got amazing results from these Instagram Lives, and many business owners were motivated to update their Instagram accounts or create a new one.”

The JARC is dedicated to bringing inclusive economic growth and sustainability for local residents, employers, and workers impacted by the Jerome Avenue rezoning. Together, we work to address systemic barriers to economic and workforce development exacerbated by rezoning through the power of community and collaboration.

WHEDco is a community development organization founded on the radically simple idea that all people deserve healthy, vibrant communities. They build award-winning, sustainable, affordable homes — but their work is not over when their buildings are complete.WHEDco believes that to be successful, affordable housing must be anchored in strong communities that residents can be proud of.

Formed in 2010, Southern Boulevard is an organization made up of merchants who collaborate to build a vibrant business district in the Crotona Park East neighborhood of the Bronx by attracting businesses and shoppers, beautifying the neighborhood, and organizing community events.

To learn more about the JARC and the small business resources made available through its network of partners, click here. You can also check out WHEDco’s small business resources and the Southern Boulevard Merchant Association’s webpage for more information.

Recordings of the two webinars can be found below.