#COOPERATIVE
Couch and Click

April 15, 2020

Photography submitted by Midcoast Collective

CHARACTER TRAIT: Cooperative

DEFINITION: Working or acting together willingly for a common purpose or benefit.

Coming together is human. We gather with loved ones and strangers for celebrations, events, and milestones often and without hesitation. But what happens when the very definition of coming together for a common cause is turned on its head?

Because of social distancing and shelter in place decrees during the COVID-19 global pandemic, non-essential businesses have ceased operations and restaurants cannot serve dine-in customers. This loss of foot traffic has taken a toll on businesses of all types and sizes throughout the world. Residents in St. Joseph, Mo., have creatively come together in support of local restaurants and stores during this difficult time…and one local company has taken matters into its own hands and used its expertise to help during this time of need.

Midcoast Collective, a St. Joseph-based web design agency, saw a need when the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce launched the Couch and Click website on March 17, 2020. The Couch and Click program was originally created as a list on the Chamber website to highlight restaurants and retailers that offered curbside pick-up and delivery services. The popularity of this page grew rapidly as more businesses came forward to share what they were doing to serve customers during this time of uncertainty. That’s when the team at Midcoast Collective stepped in to offer their services to assist the Chamber in creating a dedicated Couch and Click website to serve our community.

“We saw some of our favorite local businesses being forced to let staff go or close entirely,” said Nate Arnold, Midcoast Collective partner. “It was so sad and we knew we could do something to help.”

Using the team’s wide background in web development and experiences, Caleb Zahnd (partner, full stack developer), Nate Arnold (partner, full stack developer), and Ashley Allen (creative director) put their heads together in collaboration with the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce to expand the functionality and improve the user experience of the Couch and Click program. The new site is divided into four categories: faves (unique local restaurants), craves (national franchises), retail, and services. The only requirement to be on the site is to be a business serving St. Joseph residents that offers delivery, curbside pick-up, shipping or gift cards for sale. 

The purchase of gift cards now to be used in the future will help reverse the loss of income that locations across St. Joseph are experiencing due to COVID-19.

“We want these businesses to make it through,” Arnold said. “Those of us who can help should. Businesses may need to get a little more creative in how they package their products, but we also share in the responsibility of helping sustain them through this crisis. We want to do what we can.”

During this time the Chamber of Commerce is not limiting this service to members only or charging a fee for non-members to be a part of the Couch and Click website. As part of its dedication to keeping St. Joseph informed, the Chamber sends daily COVID-19 e-mail newsletters, as well as maintains a constantly updated COVID-19 resource website for members and non-members to use to get the most up-to-date information and resources at their fingertips in one easy-to-use location.

“The Chamber’s mission is to support business in any way possible,” said Kristi Bailey, Director of Communications and Marketing. “As the pandemic and its effect on business continues, it’s our job to keep adapting to help businesses succeed. The new site is a great example of that.”

If your local business offers gift certificates, delivery, or curb-side pickup and would like to be a part of Couch and Click e-mail bailey@saintjoseph.com with the link to your online store where gift certificates are listed or a phone number where people can purchase over the phone. 

While our definition of coming together has temporarily changed…the Uncommon Character that drives us to unite together for the greater good has not.

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