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App guides shoppers around trails that show them where all the open local businesses are

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A new app is being trialled around Nottinghamshire that creates trails for shoppers to follow that take them past a range of local businesses that are currently operating – a scheme likely to be greatly expanded as more stores open up next month.

There are currently four live trails, which make it simple to find businesses that fit the user’s requirements as well as still being open for business. These available trails include ‘businesses serving groceries across Bassetlaw’, ‘local grocery businesses serving near you’, ‘Worksop and Retford shops brought to you’ and a trail of businesses offering the delivery or collection of food throughout the district.

Sally Gillborn, chief executive at North Notts BID which created the app, explains: “We’re really excited about being able to help local businesses promote their current offerings through such a direct and user-friendly method. The Covid-19 crisis has had a devastating impact on companies across the UK, so we’re glad that we can do our bit to help businesses across North Nottinghamshire attract new customers.”

She adds: “We have been working with LoyalFree for over a year now and offer all of our members have the opportunity to advertise on the app, free of charge. This offer still applies and is now more important than ever as we continue to encourage the community to keep shopping locally.”

The Old Police Station Restaurant and Bar is just one of the many businesses that have benefitted from the LoyalFree app by receiving orders and delivering fresh produce to local residents.

Sarah James, general manager at The Old Police Station Restaurant and Bar in the Nottingham suburb of Retford, says: “We have continued to work closely with North Notts BID and have been using the LoyalFree app for several months. During the coronavirus crisis, the app has proved a useful tool to direct people to businesses that have remained operational.  Unlike some businesses in the local area, we have remained open from the beginning. The app can be used to show people what produce and services we have to offer and encourages people to look at our Facebook page where we make daily posts.”

Since the app launched in May, the new trails have had more than 150 views from users searching for businesses that are still operating while adhering to government safety guidelines. The app has attracted more than 1,600 users across North Nottinghamshire, and there have been 15,582 interactions with local businesses since the beginning of the project.

Sophie Hainsworth, co-founder of LoyalFree, says: “We’re currently living through unprecedented times so it’s important that we adapt our technology to meet the changing demands of consumers. We want to continue to support North Notts BID and the local high street during this difficult period in any way we can, and think these new trails are a great way to connect users to local goods and services that are still available during the pandemic.”

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