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First businesses receive match funding as we pledge support through Crowdfunder’s Pay it Forward

24 April 2020

Over £73,000 has been pledged by the community on 100 projects crowdfunding in the Solent area. We have pledged £8,000 on three local businesses’s crowdfunding campaigns to help get them vital funds so that they can keep trading.

Businesses who we have pledged to funding to so far are:

  • Local restaurant Lakaz Maman, who have received £5,000 match funding to help them hit their £10,000 target.
  • £1,000 was pledged on Blackbox Theatre helping them raise funds for their ‘nearly live’ lockdown theatre idea.
  • Thatched Cottage received a £2,000 pledge to help support their gin bar, tearoom and historic accommodation.

Micro and small businesses - which make up 98% of Solent’s economy - can receive access to £100,000 in grants and match funding through Crowdfunder’s Pay it Forward campaign.

Micro and small businesses have raised almost £2.7 million in 30 days through Pay it Forward scheme

More than 600 businesses have signed up across the UK to pre-sell goods and services and diversify their business and 22,000 people have purchased goods and services

Solent-based restaurant  Lakaz Maman is the first to receive a match funding pledge of £5,000 from our new Pay It Forward Solent crowdfunding campaign, enabling it to hit its fundraising target..

Southampton's Mauritian Street Food Restaurant, run by a MasterChef winner and specialising in delicious tropical street food, offered £10-100 vouchers as rewards in return for pledges of cash. The vouchers can be redeemed on meals when the business reopens. The project was promoted to the businesses 1,429 Twitter followers and 10k+ Instagram followers.

The family run business raised over £5,000 from 110 supporters to help them weather the economic impact of Covid-19 and protect up to 14 local jobs. We then matched the money with a £5,000 pledge of our own.

Shelina Permalloo, owner of Lakaz Maman said, “We can't wait to be back up and running feeding you all the Yummy Coco Buns and cooking away our big bubbling pots of island style curries..but until then...we thank you for all your support and custom throughout the years. We want to thank you all, from the entire team here at Lakaz Maman and we will see you on the other side!!”

We also pledged £2,000 to the Thatched Cottage in Brockenhurst taking it towards its stretch target of £10,000. The historic Grade 2 listed hotel is looking to secure its short term future so that it can re-open and continue to offer hospitality in the New Forest.

Matthew Lawson, Managing Director, said, “We are so grateful for the support from Crowdfunder and Solent LEP to make this Pay It Forward campaign possible and even more grateful to our wonderful supporters who helped us reach our initial target within days. To know that we can save our business and look after our wonderful staff during this period of closure, is a huge relief and we cannot wait for the day when we can welcome our lovely guests once again to the New Forest."

The Blackbox Theatre in Fareham received a match fund pledge of £1,000 from the LEP, helping them smash their £2,000 funding target so they can continue to entertain local audiences through the lockdown with The 39 Steps, recording it for radio audiences.

Theatre director, Chris Hawley, said, "This extra funding allows us to keep going as a company during these tricky times, try out something new, employ some local artists during lockdown and carry on entertaining audiences. A huge thankyou to everyone for their continued support and, of course, our gratitude to Solent LEP for matching the monies we've already raised through Crowdfunder UK.”

Urgent funds are being distributed to micro and small businesses in the Solent area through the Pay it Forward campaign via Crowdfunder.

The impact of COVID-19 on micro and small businesses has been immediate. To ensure these businesses can access essential cash flow now, we are redirecting £100,000 from our local growth SME fund to micro and small businesses through Crowdfunder’s Pay it Forward campaign.

The Solent area - which includes the Isle of Wight, the two cities of Portsmouth and Southampton, the M27 corridor and the Solent waterway - is home to over 41,000 businesses, 89% of which are micro (1-9 people), and 9.3% are small (10-49 people).

Brian Johnson, our Chair, said:
“We are delighted to support the first businesses in the Solent through Pay It Forward. Rapid response in these challenging times will make the difference between businesses staying afloat or going under. We are redirecting this money to ensure micro and small businesses can access emergency funding now. These businesses and leaders are vital to our local economy and the lifeblood of communities. Because we will do everything we can to protect them and enable them to bounce back, in addition to this Crowdfunder scheme we have also established, several other funds and initiatives, and have more being launched in coming weeks.”

Crowdfunder and small business support network Enterprise Nation have set up Pay it Forward to enable the self-employed, micro and small businesses to pre-sell their services and diversify trading to ensure a continuous cash flow and to enable them to stay connected to their customers. In one week, the Pay it Forward campaign has raised £340,219 by 273 businesses through donations from 8,500 people.

Rob Love, CEO, Crowdfunder said,
“It’s great to see Southampton-based restaurant Lakaz Mamam access funding so quickly through the Pay it Forward scheme backed by Solent LEP match-funding. The power of Pay it Forward is to keep small businesses trading, and to support them in their recovery. Businesses like Lakaz Maman make up a major part of both local economies and communities. It’s vital they stay afloat and we’re happy Pay it Forward is able to support them.

How does Pay it Forward work?

1. Someone who is self employed, a micro or small businesses can set-up a Pay it Forward campaign by visiting this link
2. Once set-up the person or business can pre-sell their goods or services, and diversify their offer to engage existing customers and potentially reach new customers as well.
3. The business sets a financial target to meet. Throughout the process, coaching is provided by Crowdfunder to support the person/small business to meet their target.
4. Once the financial target is met we release match funding.*
5. The total sum of the money is then released to the person/small business

If you are a small business in need of help during this time get in touch with our Growth Hub team, or to find out more about the Pay it Forward scheme, click here.

*Terms and conditions apply

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