At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Phil Murphy ordered residents to stay home unless travel is necessary. He ordered the closure of all nonessential businesses to curtail the spread of the virus and to practice social distancing.
While larger companies and corporations have online presences that allow customers to continue shopping amid the closure, many smaller, local businesses are not as lucky.
In Bayonne, city officials have been helping local businesses. During the pandemic, the Urban Enterprise Zone/Special Improvement District (UEZ) has been promoting local businesses that are still open.
The Parking Authority has been providing local restaurants with “No Parking” zones in front of their businesses to better accommodate takeout customers.
Now, the city is embracing an online shopping service to provide a way for local businesses affected by COVID-19 to offer goods and services to potential customers.
Mayor Jimmy Davis and the UEZ announced on April 9 that Bayonne has been selected as a new location for a live, online shopping service called Jatango.
Jatango is here to tango
The UEZ has described Jatango as “similar to your own personal shopping network.”
Davis credited a local entrepreneur for making this service possible. Jatango connects local businesses with residents online.
“This service is a live website that will allow our local merchants to do business with our residents in a live broadcast shopping experience,” Davis said. “There is no charge for a Bayonne resident or business to sign up and become a participant in this new shopping experience. There is no cost to broadcast.”
Jatango has agreed to a zero-fees policy for at least three years. Users wouldn’t have to pay until 2023. However, merchants are charged a 7.8 percent processing fee for purchases made by customers on the Jatango website.
If a customer makes a purchase from the local business’s website or in person, there is no fee. The fee is assessed only if the purchase is made through the Jatango website.
Jatango takes charge when it comes to transactions on the platform. At no point is the local business involved with customer credit card information.
Participating businesses will be available to Jatango members around the world. Businesses sell items live during a broadcast. The service enables merchants to answer customers’ questions and allows individuals to make purchases without leaving the broadcast.
Jatango’s system keeps track of inventory and alerts a business’s followers when the store is going live. Purchases do not have to be made during a broadcast; they can be made at any time from a business’s Jatango site. The system can be used to direct customers to the business’s website.
Restaurants and similar businesses can participate. A pizzeria could start a live broadcast and show a pizza being made while inviting viewers to call and place an order for pickup or delivery.
Businesses and residents in Bayonne can join the online shopping service at jatango.com.
For more information, call the Jatango Help Desk at 440- 554-5304, or visit Jatango.com. To contact the Bayonne UEZ/SID Team, call 201-858-6357.
“Hopefully, with both resident and merchant participation, this new shopping experience will help our business community continue to thrive,” Davis said.
The City of Bayonne issued a disclaimer: “Please note that the City of Bayonne is not affiliated with Jatango. While we believe that Jatango represents an opportunity for our local businesses to increase sales, each business must decide individually if the Jatango program is appropriate for their business.”
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.