New online marketplace supports downtown businesses

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published November 1, 2023

 Ten Main Street Oakland County communities, including Rochester, have launched a new website,, to help their downtown small businesses gain e-commerce capabilities.

Ten Main Street Oakland County communities, including Rochester, have launched a new website,, to help their downtown small businesses gain e-commerce capabilities.

Photo provided by the Rochester Downtown Development Authority


ROCHESTER — Shoppers can now support local downtown merchants from the comfort of home.

Ten Main Street Oakland County communities — Rochester, Franklin, Highland, Holly, Lake Orion, Oak Park, Ortonville, Oxford, Pontiac and South Lyon — have collaborated to help their downtown small businesses gain e-commerce capabilities with the launch of a new website,

The first website of its kind in Michigan, organizers say the platform allows shoppers to complete e-commerce transactions securely with one checkout process.

“The participating MSOC communities’ downtown businesses are able to affordably sell online through one website — marketing together as a localized group,” Kelly Westbrook, the Downtown Development Authority executive director for Oxford, said in a statement.

Nearly 70 downtown businesses have already loaded their products — which include everything from apparel, accessories, bath and beauty, books, collectibles and antiques, to food and beverage, health and wellness, home and garden, pet supplies, and more — to the new site. More communities and businesses will be added in the coming months.

Coming out of the COVID pandemic, Downtown Rochester Executive Director Kristi Trevarrow said, downtown leaders all knew that the downtown businesses needed to expand into e-commerce.

“One thing that we realized during COVID is that online presence, whether it is through social media or a website, is huge,” she said. “We learned that the hard way.”

Being part of Main Street Oakland County and the national network that provides, Trevarrow said downtown leaders were connected to Member Marketplace Inc. — which builds and maintains the Shop OC Main Streets website, provides technical support to the participating small businesses, and helps customers visiting the site. The county, through the Main Street program’s technical assistance services, provided $12,500 for the service. County officials said the 10 participating communities each provided $1,562.50.

“It creates new opportunities for small businesses that don’t have the infrastructure to create and maintain their own shopping website. This gives them the opportunity for free,” she said.

Participating downtowns are also able to showcase their downtown on the site with an individual landing page to increase visibility and visitors. Small businesses already selling online can add the marketplace as an additional selling channel. Businesses with a Shopify or Square website can sync and integrate their shops.

Around 12 Rochester businesses are currently featured on the site, with room to grow in the future — including Give Thanks Bakery, Lena Shkreli & Company, mi State of Mind, Reiki Euphoria LLC, Rochester Laser Center Med Spa, ProActive IV, Sole Sisters, Pure Barre Rochester, 4th Street Boutique, Front Door Medspa, The Cheese Lady Rochester, and Love Local Rochester.

“It’s a great way to stress the importance of shopping small year-round, and that it doesn’t always just have to be in your community, shopping small in other Oakland County communities still holds the same benefits of keeping those local businesses going,” Trevarrow said.

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