Buying products that are made in the USA is a good way to show your patriotism. And online shoppers now have a new place to start their red, white and blue shopping trip thanks to a Pahrump businessman.
USAonly.us (www.usaonly.us) is the brainchild of Mark Reasbeck. He is passionate about connecting businesses with customers to help revive the sagging economy.
"I'm doing this for all the mom and pops out there that do all their manufacturing in the United States," he said. "The key to bringing back America is buying from each other.
"These people have employees that are American. They work, they buy carpet and they buy refrigerators. Hopefully people will connect that the economy is one piece."
Reasbeck owned a window company until the economy forced him to close in 2008. He describes his website as a "hub to link to products." The site is designed for shoppers to browse by category or browse by state. He said there will be 50 to 60 businesses represented on the site when it launches today , and expects the number to grow quickly to 200 and beyond.
"There are other websites with made-in-America products. Most just show the products you can buy," he said. "On this site you will navigate to find what you want to buy and go to the company's website."
I got a sneak peek at the site last week, and it's akin to walking the aisles of a megastore that has a little bit of a lot of things. The categories at launch will include automotive, marine, vehicles, baby, business, industrial, construction, clothing, shoes, apparel, crafts, electronics, appliances, food, candy, spices, garden, farm, ranch, green products, health, beauty, fragrances, household goods, personal effects, pets, animals, sporting goods, toys and hobbies.
Reasbeck said the categories are "layered," so a shopper clicking the clothing link will get choices such as men's, women's, children's, and so on.
Among the businesses included at launch is Prison Blues, (www.prisonblues.com). The company operates behind the bars of a prison in Pendelton, Ore., and makes denim clothes. Its slogan is "Made on the inside to be worn on the outside."
Reasbeck said he's considering using the inmate-staffed company to create USA-only branded clothing.
Companies that would like to be added to the site can follow the "get listed" link and complete the form. Reasbeck will review the application and follow up before adding businesses. There is no charge to be listed; Reasbeck is planning to sell advertising on the site to generate revenue.
"Everybody's listing looks the same," he said. "If you're a one-person company or your site looks like the guy with 450 employees."
"I'm in it for the passion. It's the right thing to do."
Share your Internet story with me at email@example.com.