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9 Jul 2020

With the additional Government funding and Activate Cycle Academy's launch of a brand new apprenticeship standard for bicycle mechanics there has never been a better time to take on an apprentice...

8 Jul 2020

The Competition and Markets Authority is leading a Digital Markets Taskforce to provide advice to the Government on the potential design and implementation of pro-competitive measures for...

8 Jul 2020

Coronavirus is clearly having a huge impact on retail workers but one ofthe impacts that is often overlooked is its effect on the mental wellbeing of those working in our stores.

7 Jul 2020

The Government has now published its response to the Call for Evidence on Violence and Abuse towards shop staff which closed in June 2019.

2 Jul 2020

Innovative indie retailers who adapt their business to combat the impact of Covid-19 are to be recognised in a special category in Britain's Best Small Shops competition 2020

2 Jul 2020

The Government has published the Business and Planning Bill in the Houseof Commons designed to make provision relating to the promotion of economic recovery and growth.

1 Jul 2020 | 1 comment

Rental e-scooters will become legal on roads in Great Britain from this Saturday, in a bid to ease pressure on public transport amid the coronavirus crisis

1 Jul 2020

To gauge the intentions of the British public, Maybe* has gathered 20,000 answers from regions across the UK to understand if and when they'll return to the shops, and what their concerns are...

1 Jul 2020

The FCA are requesting that firms now prepare for phased move to FCA's new data collection platform RegData.

24 Jun 2020

Recent research has investigated how consumer behaviour has developed over the past few months as people have adapted their shopping styles tothe lockdown

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GoFundMy Business: The Cash-Strapped Small Business solution?

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

GoFundMe is a crowdfunding website that aims to harness the power of social networking platforms and the internet to give people the means to raise funds, help others overcome hardship, and meet aspirational goals. It is generally known as a way to raise money for high medical bills, funeral costs or natural disaster relief.

However, according to the GoFundMe Chief Executive Rob Solomon, the crowdfunding website has recently been used as a method for small businesses to raise funds that are cash-strapped and struggling. So far campaigns for small businesses have opened across 19 countries, ranging from comic-book shops to drive-in movie theatres.

The crowdfunding website was a great success for Nicky Perry, a small business owner who owns the restaurant Tea & Sympathy and the fish-and-chip shop A Salt & Battery in Greenwich Village. She started the funding because of high rent costs "We just couldn't pay the rent," Ms. Perry said. "The rent is so astronomical."

Ms. Perry said that she had previously tried extensive ways to cut costs, including changing payroll companies, reducing head count and redesigning its menu. The reaction to her fundraiser has been overwhelmingly positive, with loyal customers stopping by the shop more often and neighbours offering to help out by working for free.

Her campaign has so far raised nearly $52,000 toward its $100,000 goal. She has said that she would consider turning to GoFundMe again in the future should the need arise again.

While there have been multiple case studies of this being an effective method for businesses to raise money and has even kept many businesses alive, not all reactions have been positive. 

One comment on The Wall Street Journal said "I don't believe that businesses seeking charity are operating as legitimate businesses.", while another explained their beliefs by saying "The contradiction between feel good funding and feel good regulatory burden is inadequately elucidated."

Similar campaigns have been used for struggling businesses that need help but don't feel comfortable asking customers for donations. Chris Doeblin, owner of an independent bookshop in Manhattan, has recently started a community lending program after competition from Amazon, rising rents, the increasing minimum wage and an inability to borrow money pushed him to the brink of closing.

Mr. Doeblin has raised $600,000, which he plans to repay within five years at 4% interest, which is a far lower rate than he could get elsewhere. The support he has received from loyal customers will help him stock up for the busy Christmas season.

"People are recognizing that there's a big downside to Amazon and buying things online," he said. "I hope it's not too late."

Initiatives such as the Indie Retail Best Small Shops competition help to bring more attention to independent retailers and highlight the central role that they play in building local communities. As this awareness increases more positive articles have begun to emerge, such as recent evidence showing that the 'death of the high street' may be overstated.

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