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Shopping locally has become one of the key messages in the pandemic – and now two Argyll entrepreneurs have come up with a practical way of helping local businesses in tough economic times.
Kirsten Henderson, aged 31, from Lochgilphead, and Oliver Windham-Wright, aged 37, originally from Oban, have launched Market Argyll a platform for business owners and the Argyll community.
It comes as high streets and small businesses struggle and large corporations
thrive, they said.
Co-founders Kirsten and Oliver chose to view the pandemic and its impact on local businesses as an ‘opportunity for innovation’.
The aim is to find a way to encourage and empower people to support small and local businesses.
Kirsten said: ‘When we spend our pennies and pounds in locally owned, independent businesses – rather than big chains or online giants – a higher percentage of that spend stays within the area to boost the local economy.
‘These small businesses not only provide us with experiences that make Argyll a better place to live, they also provide jobs and opportunities.
‘We simply want to make it easier for people to support local first, by bringing everything Argyll has to offer, all in one place.
‘From retailers to restaurants, wellbeing practitioners to tradesmen, food and drink producers to artists and craftsmen – there’s a space for everyone.
‘I’m personally really looking forward to discovering new businesses, products and services that are not already on my radar or doorstep.’
The duo said Market Argyll aims to make it simple to provide businesses with an easy and affordable way to increase their visibility and reach a wider audience.
The virtual marketplace lets business owners set up their online market stalls so that potential customers can explore what’s on offer, specifically search what they are looking for, and be directed straight to an appropriate business to support and spend.
Search results can be filtered by keywords, business categories, and areas of Argyll to make it an intuitive and functional facility, they said.
Hailed as ‘so much more than a directory’, Market Argyll will also host a dynamic blog and provide additional services and support to small businesses.
Towards spring, they will launch a new feature and additional level of convenience to allow customers to shop and spend directly on the marketplace platform.
Find out more by visiting www.marketargyll.co.uk where businesses are encouraged to register to join Market Argyll as members.
Those who do so before February 28, can take advantage of the New Year introductory offer, with 50 per cent off all membership plans using a discount code SUPPORTLOCAL2021, which is valid for the first 25 businesses.