Synaptic, an award-winning Marketing and PR agency with offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Fort Worth, Texas, has launched an innovative online resource, Sustainable Main Street, in Houston at the annual convention of NARTS, The Association of Resale Professionals, is the world’s largest trade association representing the resale industry. “This is our first time attending,” the firm’s Senior Vice President Erika Brooks shares, “and it seems a fitting stage for introducing a concept that closely aligns with the resale industry.”
“We became interested in sustainability while working with pawnshops and pre-owned luxury wholesalers, whose business models inherently make them a part of a circular economy,” Principal Cyndee Harrison says, “we’ve learned that more and more consumers are looking for ways they can decrease their environmental impact, including their shopping choices. We aim to provide conscious consumers an easy way to connect with like-minded small businesses.”
Most conversations around business sustainability focus on meeting stakeholder pressures, regulatory requirements, or supply chain necessities. Sustainability’s explosion into the mainstream, with virtually all of the world’s largest companies having some sort of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) reporting, has resulted in complex economic and political issues.
Now, Sustainable Main Street is bringing focus to small businesses. The premise of Sustainable Main Street is that sustainability shouldn’t be centered solely on large organizations; instead, small businesses should be a considerable part of the conversation and action.
Sustainable Main Street’s impact has three focal points:
- Creating a safe and judgment-free community of business owners prioritizing progress over perfection.
- Providing small businesses with campaigns, content, and connections to empower their sustainability journeys.
- Making it easier for conscious consumers to find businesses that prioritize the environment.
“We call it One Small Step,” says Harrison, adding that members will be provided with a self-assessment scorecard to record and track their progress, then build a customized sustainability plan for their business. “Each month, we provide action items and marketing messaging ideas to help business leaders adopt better practices, then share their actions with their customers.”
Next, their growing online directory will list the businesses that are part of the movement. “In this way, we can help conscious consumers easily find like-minded businesses,” Erika Brooks, Senior Vice President, explains. This online directory will also become helpful to larger organizations that are increasingly looking for suppliers who fit their sustainable supply chain profile.
Finally, a monthly newsletter will help share inspiring stories of individuals and organizations making small but meaningful steps toward conscious commerce.
Sustainable Main Street is designed to make sustainable practices obtainable for organizations with limited resources while enabling consumers to align their purchasing power with their values. “We already know that small businesses are more nimble and adaptable to change,” Harrison says, “now, imagine if we empowered them to grow their business while playing a meaningful role in a brighter global future.”
More information is available at sustainablemainstreet.com!