The City of Battle Creek is going online to help restaurants and other food-related businesses get through the corona virus pandemic.
The city's Small Business Development Office has helped create a website called "EatsBC." It lets people order food for pick-up or delivery from participating businesses. John Hart is the department's development director.
"It's a place where businesses that are producing food or restaurants, anyone with a licensed establishment, can put up their product for sale for pickup at this point. If they have delivery service, they can also list that as an option as well."
Hart says the site will help a wide range of food-related businesses in the Battle Creek area.
"It's not just bricks-and-mortar restaurants. It could also be someone else involved with food that has adapted themselves to cater to people."
That includes food trucks and people with licensed home kitchens. Hart says more than 30 businesses in Battle Creek have signed up for the service so far, along with about 70 customers.
There are apps like Uber Eats and GrubHub that offer similar services. Hart says EatsBC is intended to compliment rather than replace them.
"Those were quite expensive. So, we started to look at what we could do locally. What could we craft that would minimize fees and create a vibrant marketplace for all of the Battle Creek businesses if they chose to participate."
Hart says EatsBC only charges them a 3.1 percent card credit card transaction fee. There's no charge for businesses to join.
Hart says EatsBC won't disappear once the crisis has passed.
"This is a directory for the future. We know that people get online and want to make orders online and investigate places to eat, and things to do when you're visiting the community. So, this will be that directory; that's what we hope it will become."