Concerned that many small businesses in the UK won’t be able to stay afloat due to the coronavirus crisis, UK fintechs launched the Save My Local Project.
Fintechs revolutionised the financing industry by developing tools that allow them to act as financial services firms. Doing so, has made financial products and services easily accessible to consumers and to small-to-medium scale (SME) enterprises.
Although fintech companies involved with providing funds to SMEs are themselves experiencing disruptions in their operations, some fintech players recognised the fact that SMEs, now more than ever, need business funds. Mainly because none, or less have flowed in since the UK government ordered a nationwide lockdown and stay-at-home mandate. As a result many small businesses are at risk of losing the capability to operate their business once the health crisis is over.
While help may come by way of financial assistance provided by the UK government, there are concerns that financial relief would take long to arrive; or may not suffice to keep operators afloat in the midst of the health crisis,
In light of such concerns, more than 20 fintech innovators came together to volunteer their assistance in developing a plan, and tools aimed at helping SMEs raise funds.
What is the Save My Local Scheme?
The Save My Local scheme was designed and built by a group of over 20 fintech innovators who responded to calls sent out by the fintech community. The objective was to build a website equipped with tools that will enable small businesses to generate additional business funds during the ongoing pandemic.
In less than a week, the group came out with a Save My Local website in which small business owners in the UK, in need of supplementary cash to use as working capital, had enlisted. After which, they were able to access tools to use in raising funds.
The fund-raising scheme allows small business owners to sell vouchers to their loyal customers. Selling and buying of vouchers take place at the savemylocal.org website, which ensures that customers are purchasing vouchers for the account of the business, while under a secure environment and for the purpose that such vouchers are intended.
The vouchers are redeemable by way of future purchases, serving as prepayments held in trust for customer accounts by the small business seller or service provider.