New app described as the 'Just Eat of local businesses' following successful launch
A NEW mobile app is encouraging independent traders to network and work together to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.
Shopwisely was launched in Gosport last week, and enables users to discover and contact shops in the surrounding area.
To date, 50 businesses have signed up from across Gosport, Lee-on-the-Solent and Fareham, in a bid to get everyone back on their feet post-Covid.
The app was developed by Localwise Solent, founded by Hugh and Gill Stary.
Hugh said: ‘We have seen the erosion of high street and village shops, compounded by Covid-19 restrictions, and we want to help reconnect people with their town or village centres in a way that is good for both the local economy and the local community.
‘Emerging from Covid-19, we have heard many stories about business hardship but also about new opportunities and innovations where business owners have found ways to adapt and grow.
‘There is a such a rich collection of local businesses waiting to be discovered.’
A launch exhibition was held at Yellow Edge Gallery in Gosport last week.
The next three months will serve as a pilot programme for the app, allowing time for users and businesses to give their feedback.
Networking and relationship building will be carried out by Alison Knott, the third member of the Localwise team.
One of the businesses that has signed up is Gosport Health Foods in Bemister’s Lane, Gosport.
Owner Nathan Ameru said: ‘I really like the app, it’s like the Just Eat of local businesses.
‘I’ve looked at the app a lot and checked out some of the other businesses, and it looks really good.
‘For us independent traders it’s important to have a service like this – it is all about promoting local shops, run by local people.
‘It’s only going to get better too, so I’m really confident about the future of this programme.’
Having brought businesses on board, the Localwise Solent team is looking for customers to start downloading the app, driving trade to the businesses that have signed up.
The app is available by searching for Shopwisely on Google Play and the Apple App Store.