Online local business network MerchantCircle has launched publicly today. The MerchantCircle local business network helps businesses connect to their local community and reach local internet users through marketing channels like blogs, email, advertising, coupons, and SEO. It’s hit the 5,000 merchant mark, a tally that’s been steadily doubling every 4-6 weeks, and contains more than 14 million listings and aggregates more than 10 million RSS feeds full of local business and marketing information.
“During the past few months, more than 5,000 local businesses joined the network and began actively using the site, taking advantage of the tools and advertising opportunities available there,” said MerchantCircle co-founder Ben Smith in a statement. “This phenomenal initial response is proof that local businesses want, need and are ready to successfully use the Local Internet to promote their businesses and drive revenue.”
The Circle has a free service for small businesses that includes an ad on their local merchant network, coupon creation, business blogging, and email newsletters. Their premium services include SEO, Google and Yahoo ads, targeted ad campaigns, and one-on-one time with an ad campaign advisor.