The Pekin, East Peoria, Washington and Morton Chambers of Commerce will host the E-Commerce for Main Street Business forum Monday, June 24.
The event will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in East Peoria Clock Tower Place at 251 Clock Tower Drive, East Peoria.
“It’s a collaboration between the four large Chambers of Commerce in Tazewell County,” said Bill Fleming, Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce executive director. “It’s open to everyone, but as chambers, we’re always looking for ways we can work together that will benefit all of our members.”
The forum is designed for small retailers around Tazewell County who are interested in selling products online but do not want to invest a great deal of money, said Fleming. Panelists will include Tazewell County retailers who have already begun to experiment with internet-based commerce.
“We are launching our e-commerce site we have created so we can take the small-town boutique service level, but make it work in today’s e-commerce world,” said panelist Michelle Bohm, chief executive officer of Inspired Style Company in Pekin. “We do that by building a really robust e-commerce site like the big guys. We need to adapt and change the way we do business. I believe shopping small and shopping local is fantastic, but we also need to be able to compete with the big guys by providing the convenience people are looking for.”
Panelists will share their experiences with online sales and lessons they have learned while tapping into the cyber market, said Fleming. The focus will be on low-cost strategies for combining brick-and-mortar retail with e-commerce.
“Small businesses struggle selling against larger, online retailers,” Fleming said. “This is an opportunity for them to maybe compete in that arena a little bit. I think the retailers who attend will walk away with a couple of ideas they can go back and implement right away.”
There is no cost to attend the forum and light refreshments will be served. For more information, visit the Pekin Area, East Peoria, Washington or Morton Chamber of Commerce website.