“We've got three weeks to save a million small businesses. Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cafes. They don't have cash flow, they need to sell prepayment for future services. A simple voucher platform”. This simple tweet a few weeks ago from the entrepreneur Jason Bates (11:FS, Starling, Monzo) inspired a FinTech-wide initiative to take action and make the idea of helping small businesses in this tricky period a reality. Mike Kelly - the CEO of Curl sent a call to arms on social media, and within a week, he was joined by a team of 20+ volunteers with Capital on Tap being one of them! Within days, the team built an initial version of savemylocal.org and had first businesses signing up and processing orders.
SaveMyLocal is a free website that will enable small businesses to sell vouchers to their loyal customer base quickly and easily. This will help them generate much needed cash to survive through this difficult time. The vouchers will be redeemable when the lockdown is over and the aim is that this approach will prevent millions of small businesses across the country from collapsing due to short term cash flow problems.
The platform is very easy to use - once a business registers on savemylocal.org, they will be set up with a customised landing page where customers can purchase vouchers for products and services which will be supplied later.
Alessio Carlisi, founder of Carlisi bar in Liverpool and one of the first businesses on SaveMyLocal platform said:
“We’re so lucky that we’ve had so many of our customers reach out to send us messages of support. Until now, there wasn’t a way they could directly help the business itself. SaveMyLocal is a great initiative that puts cash back into the business and will benefit our customers further down the line.”
With 5.8 million small businesses in the UK (2019), COVID-19 has had a crippling impact on the SME community and the wider economy. Without good financial support, a lot of businesses will struggle to survive for more than a few weeks. Our priority is to support UK SMEs as much as we can during these incredibly challenging times and SaveMyLocal is one of the great initiatives we are proud of to be part of.
To read more about all initiatives we have been working on, click here.
If you are a small business owner and would like to try SaveMyLocal platform, register here.