Belfast Lockdown Economy site brings local businesses to those stuck at home

  • Belfast FinTech startup loyalBe has launched a new Belfast Lockdown Economy website, putting all of the local businesses that are still open during the lockdown in one place.

    The UK-wide lockdown has had a profound impact on local businesses across Northern Ireland, many of which are multi-generational family-owned businesses and have had to temporarily close their doors. Some firms have turned to the government furlough scheme and coronavirus interruption loans to stay afloat, and others have credited extensive digital transformation for their success during the lockdown, but small local businesses can't always avail of these options.

    Belfast-based FinTech startup loyalBe has taken on the challenge of restoring virtual footfall to the city's local businesses with the launch of the Lockdown Economy Belfast portal. The new website brings together local businesses that are staying open during the lockdown into one place, connecting people to the businesses that they might not realise are still open or that have now added home delivery options.

    There are 22 businesses currently signed up to the site's register after just four days, including food takeaways, coffee houses, and bakeries that now deliver. There are also companies delivering alcohol, a professional cleaning company, and a recruitment consultancy firm so far. Business owners can get listed on the site via a web-form, adding a link to their website and any special promotions or codes currently being offered.

    The idea was inspired by The Bristol Lockdown Economy and The Edinburgh Lockdown Economy, two portals that have helped connect people to hundreds of businesses in their home cities. FinTech startup loyalBe is based in the Ormeau Baths co-working space and develops a unified reward app to replace paper reward stamp cards. The firm celebrated a significant success last year when it secured a six-figure investment.

    Source: Belfast Lockdown Economy

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