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Jack Maddock is one of around 20 people who have created Save My Local which allows companies to set up an online page selling vouchers and gift cards to help stay afloat until restrictions are lifted.
The 25-year-old from Waterloo explains: “I work in technology for a bank and had seen a tweet from entrepreneur Jason Bates and Mike Kelly, who also works in the digital area, who wanted to get this off the ground and up and running to help people during the Covid crisis.
“We thought about the voucher scheme where anyone can chip in, and local businesses could generate cash flow by selling vouchers to loyal customers that could be used for future purchases.
“Eventually designers, developers, marketers and social media people got involved and three or four days later, the website SaveMyLocal was up.”
And Jack, a senior digital product manager for Barclays who, like others is doing this voluntarily in his spare time, adds: “Not surprisingly Liverpool is one of them.
“There’s a mixture of business owners who are not afraid to come out and say ‘I need help’ and customers and other companies who are saying ‘we want to help you’.
“In fact, we have had more customers than business owners from the city, wanting to make sure the places they love are still going when lockdown is over. People who are planning their first night out with vouchers for drinks there, and vouchers for a meal here.
“It’s really heartening that so many people want to help.”
Through SaveMyLocal an online page can be created and set up within minutes, explaining the different vouchers businesses want to offer to customers, their prices, etc. Once the page is completed, businesses can then promote the page via their social media avenues.
“It’s been heart-breaking talking to businesses who are struggling and facing potential closure because of the lockdown,” says Jack. “We thought initially it would be clothes companies that would be most likely to come forward, but so many different ones have said they need help.
“The first company that contacted us was a gin business in Liverpool who said they had just taken a huge amount of orders that had got stopped that day. If we can help people like that, that’s great.
“We have businesses across the UK getting in touch with us and especially so in Liverpool where businesses involved include: Carlisi, Laura’s Little Bakery, Gin de Charente, P&D Italian Bakery, Paulo and Donato Italian Deli, On Point Liverpool, Satriales Café, Hotel Tia and Hotel Anfield.
“And more people are getting in touch all the time.”
Jack says there are a number of different people offering a quick fix but he stresses SaveMyLocal can’t promise to save businesses.
What it can offer is support.
Says Jack, who began work in Liverpool before moving to head office in London: “We can offer a platform via which businesses can reach local customers and ask for help, we are just providing that connection at the moment.
“Some companies have great social media following but they don’t have an online operation so we can support them there and, as always, if one company signs up they can tell another, and so it goes on.
“There are people sitting at home with a disposable income because they can’t leave the house, they can’t go anywhere. But they can – and do – want to support people, businesses, the places they love … and that’s where we come in.
“We can help customers to make sure that their favourite places are there when they can go back, and help the businesses to still be there.”
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