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It’s little wonder why owning a small business is often compared to pushing a boulder up a mountain: owners often do everything themselves–sales, marketing and operations, customer relations, payroll and accounts payable. That includes washing dishes and taking out the garbage.

With the launch of CatchSmart, a digital platform that provides social networking, data, and IT tools to help independent makers grow their businesses, the 30,000+ self-incorporated owners in Brooklyn should get some help pushing that boulder.

Founded by Madara Melne two years ago in Washington D.C., the platform works as a local online cooperative, designed to help small businesses who often lack the infrastructure, manpower, and resources to expand.

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“Small or medium businesses usually have fewer resources to make an impact since they have to go up against the huge budgets of large corporations,” says CatchSmart founder Madara Melne. “But with the right information and IT support, we can level the playing field a bit.”

Various tools on the platform–such as the dashboard that provides users data about market demand for their product category in their neighborhood and demographic info–relieve some of the burdens of everyday business life. The only thing each business owner needs to do is to input their company information, available products, and start making connections and promoting their product.

Brooklyn makers can use the network to connect with local retailers and track pricing, inventory, and shelf placement. Brooklyn retailers can search the network of makers to find the right inventory for their business

Once a maker has connected with a retailer, a QR code system allows makers to track their product from the factory to the retailer. The platform also provides social media for brand-building, and access to local market data, so businesses can make smart and informed decisions.

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Melne says that when the company was searching for a launch base, Brooklyn’s entrepreneurial upswing in maker-based businesses made it the natural choice. “CatchSmart exists purely to benefit the future of this community,” she says, “to drive regional development and power economic growth.”

To learn more about how to help build your business through CatchSmart, check out their website.

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