If there’s one thing that’s been learned through the 2020 Coronavirus crisis, it’s the critical importance of local businesses. In a year that saw people confined to their houses, local shops and services came to the rescue, able to respond at a moment’s notice.
In March 2020, businessman and entrepreneur Lee Nathan set out to harness this local power and create a platform to connect shoppers with their local businesses, putting more money in the pockets of independent suppliers and giving those businesses access to an online support network. Shopli – a fully searchable, UK-wide local business directory – was born, and the app was launched soon after.
As South West Regional Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, Lee has an unrivalled understanding of what it is to run a local business, and the pressure, the pinch points and the challenges they face. He’s also witnessed local businesses demonstrating exceptional resilience and creativity in their responses to the crisis. Lee and his team decided to create a UK-wide online platform that connected consumers with local independent businesses via an easy-to-use, fully searchable online directory.
Lee says, “We must work hard to enable local businesses to not just survive but to thrive – they deserve our support. It has to be easier for people to access goods and services from just around the corner – it puts money in the pockets of local businesses and is an ethical and often cost-effective alternative to shopping with multinationals. Local businesses are the lifeline of our local economy – they make our communities unique. People want to use them, but often they’re not sure how to find them. Shopli makes the process easier all-round and will help to change people’s buying habits to support local trade.”
Shopli is an affordable platform where independent businesses can advertise to consumers while also developing their support network. It may be first and foremost an advertising platform, but it is also much, much more – it’s set to become an invaluable resource for shoppers and businesses alike. This is the start of an online community where shoppers can quickly search for what they need, to buy with confidence and support their local economy, regardless of where they are in the UK.
Whether it’s hairdressers, electricians, gyms, retail or all manner of other suppliers, Shopli makes it easy for businesses to stand out, and for consumers to shop locally and support their communities – all with the personal touch that only local businesses can offer. The app is available to download now via iTunes and Google Play.