April 4, 2020 – Letter to Upstate NY merchants featured on Tastemakers Guide.
All small businesses are important, right down to the first lemonade stand many of us had as kids when we discovered we were entrepreneurs.
Your business is one of the 300 small businesses featured in Tastemakers Guide, selected by Tastemakers that live in or frequent the Upstate Region. Upstate New York is the closest thing America has to the European countryside with its inns, restaurants, farms, and shops scattered throughout the region. I built Tastemakers Guide about a year ago because I wanted to promote our beautiful countryside. I was fortunate enough to sell my last company 1stdibs.com and have the resources to open a small hotel in the lower Hudson Valley, Valley Rock Inn, and now to use Tastemakers Guide to help us all stay in business.
Right now we all need a central station where people can search online in one place to find out everyone’s current business status and to discover new businesses and dream about where we can go when it becomes safe to venture out.
We are making it easy and comforting for people to find out who is open and what you are offering: delivery, curbside pick-up, e-commerce, gift certificates, special rates on future bookings, and acts of kindness.
While we would like to cover all small businesses we are focusing on the ones that drive spending and create local good jobs through hospitality, craft, collecting, and community essentials of which you are one.
There is no cost to be included –
The road ahead will not be easy but there is strength in numbers, even though that is counter to how many of us feel in the current moment.
Before developing Valley Rock Inn, I was the founder and CEO of 1stdibs.com for 17 years. I was responsible for developing and supporting a large online community of thousands of small business owners in the art and design field. Together, we survived and prevailed significant hardships, including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2008 financial crisis. The entrepreneurs that were on 1stdibs came through those difficult times stronger I believe because of strength in numbers. If we all work together simply by providing and sharing information with existing and potential new customers we can do the same with this platform.
By now we have all begun to hear about the Federal Government’s programs which will give small businesses a very short lifeline to cover about 2.5 months’ worth of expenses mostly in the form of loans. If you include March, we are all on our own come mid-May, so we must act quickly. Tastemakers Guide will evolve as we go, but getting going is the most important thing.
We appreciate your input and are grateful for your participation, please provide your business status information as soon as possible as we plan to update the site the week of April 6.
Our first plan of attack, once we have updated the site with everyone’s information, will be securing media coverage and getting the site in front of New York City’s tens of thousands of employees in the tech industry. They are gainfully employed and therefore excellent consumers, they love a good database of information and they love Upstate NY.
Warm regards, Michael Bruno
Owner Valley Rock Inn
Over 300 places in Upstate NY with a focus on art, design hospitality and the natural world, curated by Tastemakers who live in and frequent the area.