While the growing COVID-19 pandemic has had an immeasurable impact on the health and safety of Australian citizens, its effects have also placed an equal amount of strain on the economy – particularly on local small businesses. During this difficult time, many of us have been left unsure of how to support these businesses, as several of our local hotspots have had to reduce their trading hours, transition to online or takeaway only, or in many cases, shut their doors completely.
Thankfully, a team of volunteer developers have found a solution, creating an app that will bring small businesses some relief. LocalSpots is a not for profit app that allows you to purchase gift cards for shops and restaurants in New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT that will remain valid for three years.
The total amount you spend goes directly to the business you choose to support, with a three per cent transaction fee to cover the payment-processing provider, server hosting and other operational costs. Listing a business on the platform is completely free, and the process is incredibly simple.
While you’re scrolling, you’re sure to come across several favourites, like Sydney’s Bistecca, cult-favourite Melbourne café Higher Ground, as well as some of your favourite florists like Hermetica Flowers and Grandi Flora. Not only is your gesture helping to alleviate some of the fixed costs that businesses incur, but it could also be a much-needed gift for a friend, family member or even yourself during these challenging times.
This article originally appeared on marie claire.