Hundreds of restaurants are turning to Crowdfunder to stay afloat during this crisis and stories of resilience, community solidarity and also hardship are coming to light.
In reaction to the situation, Crowdfunder has launched a ‘Pay it Forward’ tool to help businesses to secure money from customers now to keep them afloat and paying staff, to redeem services later. The campaigns have so far raised thousands.
In London, Barge East is inviting people to pre-book meals at a discount to redeem when they are open again. This ensures vital cashflow now and will enable them to stay open, while giving back to those people who can support them. Donations can be exchanged for anything from a scotch egg and a pint to a private party for 20 people. For £50 people can join a ‘reopening party’ food, drinks and music
Since Wednesday, Barge East has raised £14,800.
Tommo Thomson said: “This will enable us to survive. We have an amazing team and want to help them keep a roof over their heads and food on their plates over what are going to be some very difficult months. Our staff will also be available over the next few months to volunteer and help our local communities in any way in which we can.”
Glasgow sees The Hug and Pint looking to crowdsourcing for cash to stay open. £8,000 has been raised to date.
The founders said: “Put simply: without support and action during these times, The Hug and Pint will not survive, and its staff will be placed in a vulnerable financial position.”
In Manchester, Henry C, a local neighbourhood bar serving beer, wine, cocktails and food, raised close to £3,000 in 24 hours.
Founders Sophie and Joe said: “We are crowdfunding to see us through the next few months. It’s an unknown time for everyone so please only support us if your own business, job or financial state is secure. Big shout out to our amazing staff Daly, Maz and Liz. You guys are the reason our customers love Henry C so bloody much.”
And in Cambridge, Bould Brothers, two independent coffee shops set up by Matthew Bould, has raised more than £5,000 on the site, and hopes to continue through the coronavirus outbreak.
“We are determined to survive the COVID-19 outbreak, and until now believed that we could go it alone,” said Bould.
“Not any longer! Our government has released restrictions on the public‘s movement which is due to hit our industry very hard and we envisage only being able to survive for about 4 weeks at the current rate.”
The Pay it Forward campaign allows customers the option to book meals, a room for the night or a ticket to an event for example, now, based on a promise to deliver in the future. Crowdfunder will cover all platform and transaction fees.
Emma Jones, founder of small business support network, Enterprise Nation, said:
“We’ve pledged to offer a package of support and guidance to small business and those on the high street to help keep them afloat in these unprecedented times. We’ll be offering training and the latest information on how to access the latest Government support all in one place. We must hold our nerve and move forward together and Pay It Forward is a brilliant and practical way to coordinate targeted support.”
Rob Love, Founder and CEO, Crowdfunder said: “This is a really difficult time for everyone and there are lots of different things people are worried about including their jobs. One thing people can do if they can afford it, is support local businesses. Through Pay it Forward, we are committed to throwing Crowdfunder’s resources behind keeping business alive through this crisis.”