Among their goals is helping small business owners sashay into the digital age using the Internet and social networks to better market their shops and services, said Higgins, 29.
We sat down with Higgins to discuss the model, Burbank’s much-anticipated city website and what it’s like to work full-time with her mother.
CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO: What compelled you to start your company, CitySitesInc. com?
LIBBY HIGGINS: The idea for local directories came about when I was in college. My mom was trying to find a local vendor in Boulder, Colo., who would be able to send me a care package with food and goodies in it for Thanksgiving. She couldn’t find any store in Boulder with a website. That was the first of numerous searches for local vendors that came up short. That was back in 2002, but small, local businesses still have yet to learn all the ways to get found online, which means that we — the consumer — aren’t finding what we’re looking for, especially when what we’re looking for is local. We decided to stop waiting for someone else to come up with a solution. We built our solution.
Q: Explain JustBurbank.com and Just-Glendale.com.
A: [They are] the first of four local business directories that we launched over the last year. Every business is listed for free. They are all there. The idea is to create a hub where anyone can find anything in their community — local businesses, events, garage sales, volunteer opportunities, nonprofits, government numbers, real estate, job listings, night life, etc. We decided early on that this was going to be a resource first and foremost.