Perth online marketplace launching to help small businesses


Pieta Sharpe - Perth Happenings

Perth Happenings Online Marketplace poster.

Amber Wilkinson

A new online marketplace has launched to help WA businesses doing it tough as a result of the Coronavirus.

The initiative was sparked by Perth local Pieta Sharpe, the director of blog, Perth Happenings – a site focusing on WA events and businesses.

When the government announced event cancellations in attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19, Pieta realised, she and many other local businesses would be losing a large chunk, if not all, of their income for the coming month.

“I work with markets a lot and noted that a lot of other small businesses had nowhere to sell and they needed to have an income,” Pieta says.

“I decided my site was of no use to anyone now as an events website.

“I shut down the event capacity and created it as an online platform for a marketplace. So those who would usually be going to the markets as their sole or side income, had a place they could still contact customers and make sales,” she says.

Within the first day of sign-ups, over 30 vendors joined the marketplace. Businesses pay a monthly membership for their storefront to be hosted.

Promotion via the Perth Happenings social media accounts is also included with exposure to over 76,000 followers across both Instagram and Facebook.

Pieta hopes it can be a mutually beneficial outcome for her brand and others too.

“The goal is to make enough for me to keep growing through this difficult time and there is definitely that element of helping small businesses in solidarity.”

“That’s what Perth Happenings has always been about; community events and small business,” she says.

There are hopes initiatives such as this will take the weight off some of WA’s smaller businesses during this hard time.

“The outcome I’d like would be for the small businesses to not have to close and to maybe take some of that stress away from people and potentially give them hope.”

Pieta says at times like this it’s important to evaluate your brand and try to adapt as best you can.

“Have your freak out. Acknowledge it, then sit down and really look outside the box and really think what else you can offer,” she says.

The Perth Happenings Marketplace is set to launch Saturday 21st March at 9 am.

Vendor applications are still open and can be found here.