Evanston Local Marketplace connects business and buyers online

Connecting Evanston small business to buyers A partnership between local Black Business Consortium of Evanston,…


Connecting Evanston small business to buyers

A partnership between local Black Business Consortium of Evanston, the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, and Evanston Latinos is preparing to launch Evanston Local Marketplace using eLink Gateway, an online marketplace platform created by Value Innovation Technologies.

ELM is an e-commerce platform that connects Evanston small businesses to consumers, to other business, and to government buyers. Most small businesses don’t have the time, financial resources, or expertise to develop effective e-commerce capabilities. As a result, it is difficult for them to compete with giant corporations with international online marketplaces, especially when it comes to contracts with large institutional buyers.

Bryant Wallace, an Evanston resident, business owner, and member of the Leadership Evanston class of 2019, recognized this challenge. He was familiar with the technology and with the City’s desire to spend more of its budget with local small business as part of the economic development agenda. Wallace created the Evanston Local Marketplace Committee to bring stakeholders together to share ideas and concepts and ensure that ELM is a collaborative community project, rather than one controlled by a single entity.

Evanston Local Marketplace connects business and buyers online