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Chamber of e-commerce opens virtual doors to Ruskin

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Based on buy local, sell global principles, a chamber of e-commerce has been launched here.

By MELODY JAMESON

RUSKIN — Based on buy local, sell global principles, a chamber of e-commerce has been launched here.

The Ruskin Commongood Chamber of eCommerce, to help members do real business in the virtual world of the global internet, now is up and running at www.RuskinFlorida.US, according to its creator, Fred Jacobsen.

The purpose of the new chamber of e-commerce is assisting Ruskin businesses and entrepreneurs with growing their enterprises by using the internet to sell their goods and services worldwide, he said. This assistance will focus initially on optimizing at no charge each member’s individual website on the world wide web, Jacobsen said.

The multi-page e-commerce virtual office also allows members to communicate through a blog, to list their businesses, to check out other local enterprises and to link to Ruskin-centric sites.

A former president of the Ruskin Community Development Foundation and active supporter of several community organizations, Jacobsen said this week that he “feels strongly about the financial health of Ruskin and its people”; so strongly, he added, that he wants to encourage local business entities to think in terms of selling to a global audience while buying predominately in Ruskin.

With merger of the former Ruskin chamber and the similarly constructed Apollo Beach business group to make the new SouthShore Chamber of Commerce, Jacobsen noted “a community with more than a century of legendary history to its credit no longer has a dedicated chamber of commerce.”

The new chamber of e-commerce requires no dues, will not pressure members to join a board of directors nor produce a schedule of regular meetings, its creator said. It will, however, set simple coffee gatherings from time to time, he added. The first such coffee is slated for 8 a.m., Saturday (July 16) in Commongood Park on the north side of the Ruskin Inlet. Those attending should bring the coffee or tea of their choice.

In addition, one other in-person event is being planned, Jacobsen said. The chamber of e-commerce will present a training series centered on “How to Make Money on the Internet.” The dates and time of these seminars will be announced on the website. And all of the events, while aimed at the Ruskin business community, are open to the public and presented without charge.

The key objective is “to bring money in from outside the community with products and services generated within the community for buyers beyond it. And the possibilities are limitless,” Jacobsen asserted.

A former credit manager in the publishing industry, Jacobsen has created and operated several for-profit websites. In the 21st century world of electronic communications and internet commerce, he said, “I believe even the smallest, most geographically isolated business can attract and support an international customer base.”

Even business types which may not immediately lend themselves to internet sales of their products – restaurants, for example – may develop aspects of their enterprises which do readily adapt to the virtual world. A dining establishment might perfect a sauce or a salsa or a dressing that can be packaged and marketed to the world at large, Jacobsen said. Plus, using e-commerce, it can market its meals to the local walk- in, take-out customers.

E-commerce can be especially invaluable to the small business operator working from his or her home, he added. “Using the internet simply opens new doors” that even large, expensive advertising campaigns may not budge, he said.
Those wishing to join the chamber of e-commerce should contact Jacobsen on the membership page.

Copyright 2011 Melody Jameson


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