Your favorite bakery. A local B&B. Your awesome hair stylist. Brunch at your local restaurant. All of these local businesses have been affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus. Many have seen their income go down 50-100% in a short time. Governments are scrambling to help but most stimulus programmes are just debt with a different name. That isn’t sustainable if the companies don’t earn income. Many of them won’t survive.
Inspired by so many new initiatives trying to use information technology and viral deployment to find scalable solutions to help our favorite local businesses, EPTI wanted to find a way to help.
“My mom is a hairstylist. She told me 98% of her customers cancelled, basically overnight. Local bars, restaurants, beauty shops all have the same problem. All have terrible liquidity, in businesses with already low margins. Those types of businesses can’t put away for a rainy day, for them it rains everyday - and now there's also a tsunami on top of that!”- Arli Mujkic, CEO and Founder, EPTI.
Helpoway was put together in 48 hours by bootstrapping, using unutilized resources and talking to sponsors. Though the catalyst was the devastating effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus, finding an easy way to help wasn’t easy. The answer isn’t unsustainable debt, charity or postponing tax or VAT payments. It’s prepayment for products or services. Immediately accessible.
Many of these local businesses don’t have digital gift cards. They want to continue creating value, experiences, services and products for their clients. Third party gift card systems are associated with large fees and counterparty risks, as evident by Goyada, a prominent gift card company, recently going out of business in January 2020.
Charity, while great, comes and goes. It isn’t a long term solution.
“We can’t wait. We have to use every available resource in order to save our local businesses. These are our friends. Our community. Without them, the flavour of our city is lost.”- Måns Pontén Söderlind, Vice President and co-owner, EPTI.
Helpoway is completely free from subscriptions or ongoing fees for both loyal customers and businesses alike. In order to be self-sustaining we charge a flat, transparent fee to cover server costs, admin, transaction fees, VAT and marketing. All payments are provided by our payment processor directly to the business so there is no counterparty risk against us. We are all in this together, so let’s all pitch in!
If you are interested in helping by spreading the word or becoming a partner, please contact us ASAP via [email protected].
Helpoway is a crowd-sourced, support-driven marketplace that connects consumers with local businesses. Helpoway aims to create prepaid revenue for local businesses when they need it the most. As a sustainable alternative to debt financing, loyal consumers can immediately support their community, brands and businesses in a frictionless way.
EPTI is a venture builder founded in Stockholm in 2017 and located in eight locations in Europe. With a combination of software developers, entrepreneurs, designers and investors, we work on the slogan “We empower innovation”.
By using distributed teams to build, invest in and transform ideas globally, EPTI has a broad base of skills and experience in various industries and locations around the world. www.epti.com