Small businesses reach out on the internet to stay connected to customers during crisis – FOX 5 NY


The coronavirus pandemic is bringing out the creativity for small business owners trying to stay afloat.

On Staten Island, at least two business, including a popular bowling alley, have launched their own livestreamed talk shows.

“It was something we had on the back burner,” says Nazareth Laursen, the manager of Rab’s Country Lanes. “When this happened, we were like wow this might be the time.”

Every afternoon, Laursen and proprietor Frank Wilkinson live stream what they call “a show about nothing” from inside the shuttered bowling alley.

kind of been discussing back and forth and when this happened, we were like wow this might be the time.”

“The reaction has been fantastic,” says Wilkinson. “We’re trying to keep it relevant. Our own stories, what’s happening here at Rab’s, what’s happening in our community.”

Mike Bloomfield, owner of Staten Island’s Tekkie Geek, is used to troubleshooting computers and setting up home theaters.

Now, he and his colleagues are doing a Facebook Live show, up to three times in one day.

“We like to say the 10am show is the PG show,” he says. “We get to PG13 by 3pm and the 10pm is the R-rated show where we drink wine and beer.”

Bloombfield says the goal is to assure their wide -ranging clientele that they are still here.

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But sometimes on the show, he says they just want to have some fun and argue about who makes the best pizza.

“We spent four days arguing about pizza places on Staten Island,” he said.

Both Rab’s Country Lanes and Tekkie Geek tell Fox5 that they plan to continue their new livestream shows even after the business restrictions are lifted.

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