Many small businesses have been negatively impacted by Covid 19 and are struggling to survive. We wanted to create a centralized location where small business owners can go to learn about resources available to them. We understand that many business owners are often overwhelmed, so we created a platform where small businesses can easily request help from college students on a project or internship basis and students can apply to work on their problem-solving skills.
Small Business owners that are struggling to pay their rent may benefit from negotiating a lower lease agreement at one of the city’s vacant buildings. We believe it would be mutually beneficial for the business owner to lower costs and for the municipality, who is responsible for the costs of maintenance on these abandoned properties to earn some income on the properties.
Syrecuse offers a comprehensive plan to help small businesses - particularly those in Syracuse - that are struggling to survive as a result of hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is where our name also comes from; Syrecuse is filled with resources for those within the city of Syracuse.
What it does:
From the home page, the user can navigate to a connections tab as a student or as a business so they can connect. A student can gain valuable experience by working at a small business trying to solve the everyday challenges small business owners face. Business owners lack time and working with a student will enable them to focus on more important tasks and offer a fresh perspective to the business.
The business owner can also view vacant properties to help assess whether it makes sense for them to relocate to a location where they will have lower costs.
There is also a centralized location where they can access a curated selection of links, where they can find the resources they need all in one place.
Be sure to check out our Figma prototype (syrecuse.online) to look through our prototype!
How we built it:
After a long discussion for the designing/building of the website, our team decided to build the application prototype using Figma which is a designing tool. For some of the visualization, our team used Plotly which is a visualization library. We used Google Sheets and Map-Maker as well.
Challenges we ran into:
As a team that included beginners with limited coding experience, it became apparent to us that we would not be able to execute our concept within the timeframe and we had trouble finding a platform where we could all collaborate. We decided to use Figma since it offered collaborative users an easy way to build prototypes. While working with the project, our team faced some difficulty in implementing a particular component/layer. There was a lot of discussions back and forth for developing the UI part.
Accomplishments that we're proud of:
We are proud of our concept and we think it offers business owners a comprehensive solution to their problem. Our team also got a chance to explore Figma a designing tool that helped us accomplish our task.
What we learned:
Nicole- It was my first time using Figma and I learned so much about how to create a project using that platform. I enjoyed working with my team.
Saurabh- It was a great experience to learn a new tool within a span of 24hrs and it was fun collaborating and learning from team members.
Natalia- Learned how to use Figma and create a prototype using it, also learned Logo designing for our project. Finally, I learned how to upload videos on YouTube!
Jorge- I learned how to do rapid prototyping in Figma and UI/UX design.
What's next for recuse:
We are planning to implement our project from scratch using modern Web technologies frameworks and libraries which will be useful for business owners and students. Our vacancy and resources pages will be live and automatically updated based on the information available on the Syracuse government website and the excel CSV we have.