Scottsdale small businesses leading with e-commerce effort

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- For a city that spends so much time bragging about its Old West heritage, Scottsdale is turning into a pretty high-tech place, according to Google.
Scottsdale was named the top city in Arizona for its small-business e-commerce.
GoodyTwos Toffee Company is among those turning to the Web for business.
The handcrafted candy is based in Scottsdale and was started by Donna Gabrilson and her daughter, Stacey Barnes.
They say locals love to come in and feed their sweet tooth, but it's the Internet that allows them to reach candy lovers worldwide.
“It's the typical story, 'This is so good you should sell it,'" Gabrilson said.
Gabrilson has used her great grandmother's toffee recipe for years with friends and family pleading for her to make more. So, Gabrilson decided to make it a business.
“I set up our website with a shopping cart and it really gave us an opportunity to get our product out visibly to a wordwide audience," Gabrilson said.
She turned to the Internet first before spending thousands on a store. Sales started to take off and American Express was her first corporate client.
When the orders started pouring in, Gabrilson turned to her daughter for help.
“She takes care of all our social media, which is a big, big part,” Gabrilson said.
Barnes quickly started working on an online customer base.
“We did get a website up and found out this is a viable business,” she continued. “So we were ready to take it to the next level and get our own kitchen and retail shop.”
The mother-daughter duo looked down the street for that help.
GoDaddy, based in Scottsdale, has helped many of Scottsdale's small businesses get online at a low cost.
“What's great about the website, it's year-round and provides an opportunity to bring in more income,” Barnes said.
The duo say the Web contributes 25 percent of their sales.
Scottsdale's small-business community is growing, many looking to sell their product online.
The World Wide Web allows local businesses to extend their customer base from the area into the rest of the country and world, making for a stronger, healthier local economy.