Community app Nextdoor is to allow local businesses to post free updates to help them connect with people in their area and boost trade during the coronavirus lockdown.
As part of the new Get Local scheme, businesses on the app will be given two free posts a month to share vital information such as new opening hours, delivery options and special offers.
The platform is working on the scheme with Barclays and will also offer the finance giant’s business customers a free targeted Local Deal advert to their area on Nextdoor.
Nextdoor said the scheme was part of efforts to support local businesses which have been hit by the coronavirus lockdown and social distancing measures.
The programme also includes a dedicated Coronavirus Open for Business Directory, which businesses will be able to opt-in to in order to show residents they are trading.
Nick Lisher, head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Nextdoor, said: “We believe when local businesses thrive, communities thrive and so we are proud to be partnering with Barclays to launch ‘Get Local’ to support local businesses during this difficult and challenging time.
“We know that shopping local is important to neighbours on Nextdoor and our members are eager to help support small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. In a recent survey, nearly 70% of Nextdoor members told us that they would prefer to shop at a local independent business over a high-street chain.
“Through Nextdoor, local businesses will be able to boost their marketing efforts, grow their customer base and spread awareness of their business or service with those customers that matter most to them: their local community.”
The app has been among the social platforms seeing an uptick in users since the lockdown, reporting a 91% increase in engagement in the UK between February and April, while conversations about supporting local businesses have risen 10-fold.
Nextdoor said it has seen an increase in users discussing deliveries, takeaways and small businesses such as greengrocers since lockdown began.
Hannah Bernard, managing director for Barclays Business Banking said: “We understand that small businesses up and down the country are struggling with the impacts of coronavirus right now, and we will do everything we possibly can to support them.
“At the same time, we recognise that people want and need to purchase key items locally whilst abiding by social distancing measures.
“We want to do everything possible to support local communities and businesses through this difficult time.
“We’re happy to partner with Nextdoor to help firms continue trading even if their physical premises have had to close and help prepare local communities as we start to emerge from the lockdown.”