Crowdfunder founder Rob Love joined host Ian Payne for a chat live on LBC Radio, talking about an extraordinary week and how the launch of Pay It Forward is supporting businesses across the UK to continue to trade in uncertain times.
The campaign is designed to enable businesses across the UK to generate advanced sales for their goods or services in the short term. By offering ‘rewards’ to their loyal customers they are able to mitigate immediate cashflow problems caused by the coronavirus lockdown.
“We’ve been very busy. It’s been like six weeks in one at Crowdfunder,” said Rob.
“The Government initiatives to give British businesses some confidence are all well and good but people are running out of cash now, right this second. That’s why we’ve launched an innovative campaign called Pay It Forward which is enabling pubs, bars, restaurants and shops to carry on trading during the lockdown.
“We’ve created it so that people can come onto Crowdfunder and say: ‘We’re customers of this business and we’d like to buy some of their services in advance, because we love them and we trust them. We they’re going to be around in the future and we’ll pay for some of those products or services in advance, right now, to try and help.’ Pay It Forward is a positive thing amongst all the gloom.
“Businesses were contacting us about how we could help. Just as importantly, we had the great British public asking us how to support their favourite restaurant or local hotel, whatever it might be, at this moment in time. We’ve responded to that.
“People want to carry on trading but that’s very difficult when you people aren’t coming to your premises. If you can create a new way of working that allows you to continue what you want to do then that’s going to be good news for all of us in the future.”
Many cafes, bars and restaurants are quickly changing the way the operate, turning to Crowdfunder to become a takeaway service to trade with their loyal customers during the crisis. Others are offering vouchers for drinks, meals and services to be redeemed when the lockdown is lifted. Enterprise Nation has partnered with Crowdfunder to deliver specialist business support through the campaign, providing access to free training and support for business to help with online sales, marketing, cashflow, and diversifying.
“We’ve found a way to connect these people and let people carry on trading with Pay It Forward. It’s fine to get these big numbers from the Government, but there is so much uncertainty. It’s so complex and nobody knows how long it’s all going to take,” added Rob.
“At this very moment in time we need to keep people trading. People have to adapt to the new environment, and they have to change their working processes. For example we’re seeing restaurants turning into takeaways and delivery services. The whole thing has got to change for the long term, and fast.
“The pandemmic is going to take a big toll on the economy. It’s big and it’s unprecedented. We’ve got to look at the long-term and build a resilient and sustainable economy. But people want to trade at the moment. They don’t want to take handouts or necessarily loans, especially when they have to think about how they’re going to pay it back.”