By Audrey Spencer

The Cove Herald

Because of the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation, businesses in the city will have another outlet to advertise their goods and services.

One of several business retention and expansion projects the corporation is undertaking is the Shop Local program. It will use technology to advertise local businesses online.

"It's a new technology that we're going to put in place that will offer a service to local businesses in Copperas Cove to allow them to profile and advertise themselves on this Shop Local (website)," said Polo Enriquez, executive director of the corporation. "They may be able to develop their own page on the site to advertise services or goods, put coupons up and do a number of things."

The corporation is using a company Shop QA to build the site.

"It's intended to keep shopping dollars in town, for people to look at Cove first before they go elsewhere to spend money," said Enriquez.

The contract with Shop QA is "two-step," said Enriquez, including a one-time setup fee of $3,000, and monthly charge of $395 to run the site. The funds for the new site come from the coorperation's business retention fund.

Local merchants will not be charged anything to use the site.

"The EDC will bear that cost," said Enriquez.

The new site will include links to the city and Chamber of Commerce's websites.

"Being on our site is part of the membership with the Chamber," said Betty Price, vice president of the Chamber of Commerce. "We're glad to share it with (the corporation) because they're going to highlight Chamber members and offer a link to our membership page."

The website should be fully operational in the next 45 to 60 days, said Enriquez.

"Before we launch it, we'd like to have a good amount of pages from local businesses already set up," said Enriquez. Coorperation staff members will be calling on businesses personally to start populating the website.

"For those who are capable, we can get them directions on how to (build a page) themselves. If they're not, we'll be happy to help them," said Enriquez.

The Copperas Cove EDC is taking several others measures to attract and retain businesses in the city, including hiring a new business retention specialist, James Aanstoos, who will be working on a survey in 2012 to open doors of communication between local businesses and learn what they need to thrive. The corporation also is working with Marketing Alliance, a Mississippi-based company that specializes in business attracting websites, to add a page highlighting what the city has to offer businesses looking to expand or relocate to Cove.

Contact Audrey Spencer at or (254) 501-7476.

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