London mayor Sadiq Khan has launched “Pay it Forward”, a scheme to help people who want to support their local independent shops, restaurants, cafés, bars and creatives.
“Small businesses are facing enormous challenges whilst playing an important part in the fight against coronavirus,” he said.
“Many have had to close their doors in recent weeks and are struggling with cashflow, so we all need to work together to help keep these businesses trading.
“It’s never been more important to work together, as a city, to get through this.”
The mayor has linked up with Crowdfunder to create the 100% free Pay It Forward initiative.
Businesses can offer customers the option to buy goods and services in advance based on a promise to deliver in the future, helping to secure trade through this difficult time.
“This means people can book and look forward to future activities – from haircuts in Harrow, to pints in Peckham and curries in Clapham – while supporting their favourite small businesses to stay afloat,” Khan said.
Brixton food distribution charity Compliments of the House has already signed up.
Pay It Forward London is part of a wider package of help the mayor is offering to small businesses, including the London Growth Hub which is delivering tailored one-to-one advisory sessions with small and medium-sized enterprises during the outbreak.
It takes moments to sign up and start a fundraising campaign, and there are no fees or transaction costs.
The platform is open to businesses based in London who have been impacted by the covid-19 restrictions.
Members of the public can also nominate local businesses and encourage them to sign up.
The mayor said that more than 700 businesses across the country have collectively raised over £1.5 million with the help of over 32,000 supporters who have paid it forward.
“Small businesses are facing enormous challenges as a result of the fight against coronavirus – not least a significant drop in their cashflow,” he said.
“Londoners value their local independent shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and other small businesses and I’m confident that this goodwill means many will be happy to pay for goods and services now so that they can continue to enjoy them when things get back to normal.
“I’m clear that the economic impact of the outbreak and the restrictions brought in to tackle it will be far-reaching and long-lasting – so I’m determined to do all I can to support the economy over the coming weeks and months.”