Thursday, August 20, 2015

Spotlight: Online Business Directories for BIDs


We wanted to take a moment here at Commercial District Advisor to do a round up of various commercial district online business directories. Since many people take a look at what a district has to offer before or after they make a visit, or even during a visit via mobile device, it is important to explore the variety of directories districts are posting online. Here are a few:

Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership has an interactive website where you can browse businesses through categories like dine, shop, services, etc with an interactive map and lists of businesses.  Not only do they provide an impressive amount of information on each individual business listing page, but they go a step further to include lists of Nearby Parking, Services, and Dining.  I personally like the interactive map and the level of detail provided for each business, it does take a little bit of navigating to figure out that the business directory is within the various sections and not put together in one spot.

Downtown Albany's business directory is featured in their main menu and is interactive, meaning if you wanted to find coffee shops in the district you would first click "Dining Styles" and then click "Coffee Shops." You would then see all coffee shops in the district. Clicking one opens up an individual page with an impressive amount of information including shop description, location, hours, website, news about the store and sometimes pictures. This directory seems to filter your choices rather effortlessly and is easy to understand.


Downtown Madison's business directory is featured under their Shop & Dine section of the main menu. The directory gives a few options to "View Businesses by Type" - eat, shop, etc - or "View Businesses by Category" - book shops, government, jewelers, etc. You can also search for a business or view all the businesses in one list. When you click a business you get an individual page with business info and their location on a Google map.  This site has simplicity with additional subtle elements.


LA Fashion District integrated a map into their directory which adjusts to directory searches. Business categories in their directory include hotels, floral, bags, restaurants, etc. Businesses can be searched by keyword as well and can be filtered by retail or wholesale.  I enjoyed the neat visualization connecting the map with your search, the color consistency of their website and the customized map is a plus.



Myrtle Avenue Ridgewood Business Improvement District also features their Business Directory in their main menu of their website. Their directory is straightforward and lists many categories of businesses with the number of that type of business indicated beside the category. Clicking the category shows all the businesses and their information listed. You can also see all listings at once or do a search. This is a nice simple directory that is easy to find and easy to navigate.


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