With doors shut and curtains drawn, many UK businesses have been hit hard by the lockdown restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus crisis. In order to help London’s struggling businesses, Crowdfunder and the Mayor of London came together to create Pay it Forward London. Through this 100% free crowdfunding initiative, businesses can pre-sell vouchers, goods and services with an aim to redeem them later, helping to secure vital custom. 

For many, the 4th of July marks the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions. Though, unlike shops, pubs, and restaurants, theatres have yet to be given a reopening date by the government, leaving organisations stranded without income. This includes London’s Hackney Empire.

Acting as a cultural home for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, Hackney Empire is one of the UK’s most beautiful and best-loved venues. This prolonged loss of income has left them facing the biggest challenge in their 120 year history. 

Hackney Empire’s Artistic Director, Yamin Choudury, told us, “Along with many other arts organisations, closing the doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating. Over 85% of our funds come from box office and earned income and while other industries are starting to re-open, theatres remain with not enough information to guide strategic decision making to secure our futures.”

A tweet by Alan Davies showing support for the Hackney Empire crowdfunding campaign

Knowing that to reopen their doors they needed immediate financial support, the Hackney Empire team set up a crowdfunding campaign with the Mayor of London’s initiative. Within hours, the support from their loyal customers came flooding in. Yamin explained, “We have been overwhelmed with the phenomenal success of our #SaveHackneyEmpire crowdfunding campaign, supported by the Mayor of London.”

To date, over £39,325 has been raised from 678 supporters. 

“The scheme has enabled us to harness the huge amounts of goodwill that there is for Hackney Empire and turn that into the funding that will help to see us through these uncertain times. It’s giving us the best chance of reopening our doors for music, for comedy, for theatre, for young people and of course for Panto in the years to come.”

“It’s given us the chance to reach people from across the Capital, the country and in some cases from across the world, who love this incredible organisation and venue, and who want to help us keep it open.”

Is your business struggling due to the coronavirus crisis? Start crowdfunding with the Mayor of London’s Pay it Forward initiative today and harness the power of the crowd!