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Times News launches business info service

STAFF • Apr 7, 2020 at 10:33 AM

KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Times News on Monday launched WHAT’S OPEN on timesnews.net.

WHAT’S OPEN allows local businesses to enter basic information such as name, address and telephone number, as well as the status of the business such as whether it’s open, closed or has changed hours during the COVID-19 pandemic. That information is free to add, and access to the directory is free.

“We were looking for a way to compile this information into an easy-to-navigate directory for the public,” said Times News Ad Director Billy Kirk. “One of our vendor partners pitched us this solution, and it quickly became clear this was what we’d been looking for.

“It only takes about two minutes for a business person to fill out the basic information, so it’s not a time-consuming process,” Kirk added. “Once the information is submitted, a Times News team member reviews it and, if everything is OK, approves it. Then it posts immediately to the directory. It really is that simple.”

While many efforts concentrate on restaurants, WHAT’S OPEN allows businesses of all kinds — including restaurants — to post their information. Since Monday’s soft launch of the service, restaurants, heating and air, car dealers, office furniture dealers and others have filed their information.

“With more than a half-million unique visitors to timesnews.net every month and the fact that this directory sits atop every page, we expect WHAT’S OPEN to be a high-traffic stop for readers on our site,” said Times News Publisher Rick Thomason. “We invite every business, whether you’re a Times News advertiser or not, to submit information to the WHAT’S OPEN directory. With local businesses struggling in this economy, we want to give every one of them another chance to succeed.”

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