Small businesses have been among the hardest during the COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown. So much so that many of them will not survive post-lockdown, but there are some online initiatives in place to assist at the moment.

One of these is Save Your Local, a site that helps to connect people with businesses in their area, along with offering methods for them to support.

The site, which was spun up less than two weeks ago, is designed for businesses to sustain cashflow while they are closed. Save Your Local assists restaurants and pubs in particular, which have not been able to operate due to the regulations surrounding the country’s extended lockdown.

There are two ways in which people can support their local businesses, with the first being a straightforward donation. This can be used to help pay staff and other associated business costs during this tough time.

The other method, which we think is quite savvy too, is being able to purchase vouchers for specific items at said business which can then be redeemed once lockdown ends and people in the country can move without restrictions.

“In just a few days, Save Your Local has had more than 250 small businesses across the country register on its platform, making it the largest collective hospitality, tourism and services initiative in South Africa to date, and an opportunity for businesses and consumers alike to help shape a positive future for their local communities,” explains a press release regarding the site.

Visitors will also be able to search for businesses by province, municipality, or the name of the business itself.

“We took inspiration from the American Dining Bonds Initiative launched by SupportRestaurants.org, which helps a variety of business owners operating in the entertainment, events, food, hospitality, and transportation sectors, along with many others,” says Yolandi Le Grange, COO at Click2Sure and Save Your Local board member.

“There is no question that the temporary lockdown is necessary to save lives. However, an unavoidable and frightful consequence is that it is costing our SMMEs and losing our economy an estimated R13-billion a day by constraining almost all business activity. With our entrepreneurs fighting for survival, we, as a community, felt that we needed to come together to try save not just businesses, but thousands of jobs and livelihoods too,” she concludes.

If there is a specific local business you wish to support, or you’re a business owner wanting to make use of the platform, we recommend giving Save Your Local a visit.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]