Croydon tech company pivots to launch Local Support Vouchers – a platform to help small businesses
Chris Giddins, CEO and Founder of Uniqodo, talks about the company's initiative to use their platform to support local businesses during the coronavirus lockdown.
Local Support Vouchers is a new initiative that launched last week, empowering members of the public to support their much-loved local businesses and NHS staff. Our aim is to help independent cafes, restaurants and shops across the UK stay afloat during the pandemic by enabling people to buy vouchers or pledge support for their favourite local businesses, to keep them going until they can re-open.
Here at Uniqodo, we have a B2B voucher tech platform that powers the promotional activities for a number of enterprise businesses. You can read more about us and our move to the Cronx in my last blog post.
Uniqodo normally works with major tourism and travel clients, so we’ve been really affected by the lockdown. But we also knew our skills and technology experience could truly help others at this time.
My team and I decided to put this extra time and our technical expertise to good use to try and help small businesses during these unprecedented times. In just 3 weeks we were able to launch Local Support Vouchers.
Thousands of small businesses don’t have the systems in place to offer vouchers. We make it easy for businesses to set up and sell vouchers quickly, helping them secure a vital source of revenue while their doors are closed. Customers can buy vouchers for themselves, gift to a friend, or ‘pay it forward’ to local NHS workers.
A bigger vision
While we have a timely solution to help local businesses during lockdown, we have a big, bold vision for Local Support Vouchers to level the playing field for small businesses, with access to cutting edge technology and customer communities typically only afforded to enterprise brands. Local Support Vouchers is building a thriving digital marketplace for small businesses to offer vouchers, promotions and payment services, helping them to drive new customers and build loyal communities.
The high street has been under pressure for a number of years in the UK. Six weeks of lockdown has made us recognise how important our local restaurants, cafes and shops are to our daily lives, and we see lockdown as a catalyst for change. We want to make sure we help power that change today and for the future.
Any UK business can sign up for free. Local Support Vouchers charge a small fee (to cover website and team costs) which is 3% of voucher value. The payments processing platform, Stripe, also charges a small processing fee.
If you have a small business, sign up here today: list your business
For everyone else, you can either:
- buy a voucher if the business is already live
- pledge a voucher for yourself, a friend, or the NHS – even if the business isn’t live yet
- nominate a business that you think would benefit from Local Support Vouchers
Anyone use Local Support Vouchers to support your favourite local business and NHS workers.