Survive and thrive with shopping app aimed to help small businesses

A FAIRFORD photographer has created a shopping app to help local small businesses who have been closed due to the Covid-19 crisis, but are now getting ready for the restart.

Peter Paredes of Paredes Photography has joined forces with ten other local businesses to help their business community get visible during this strange time and also encourage users to shop local and not just online.

Peter said: “Fighting the giant online retailers is hard enough at the best of times and it has become clear during the Covid-19 crisis that the nation relies on their small, local businesses that are essential for the local economy as well as for creativity and individuality. When lockdown began, I saw on social media how loads of local small eateries started to change how their business worked. I ended up creating a new Facebook page – ‘Fairford and Surrounding Area Food Delivery Services’ – so there was just one place to have all this information to hand. This turned out to be really popular, so I started looking at other ways to promote small local businesses, as there was clearly a desire from people to ‘Shop Local’ and so this app was born.”

The Free Shop Local App, which costs businesses nothing to be part of and is also free for users, is designed to fight the long-term financial circumstances. In addition, it has its own social media group and support network of professionals to help communities survive and thrive with advice and offers, as well as a dedicated page showing which businesses are open now in the community.

Peter, who owns the lifestyle photography business in Fairford continued: “Local business is at the heart of many small communities and also help local charities and community groups raise essential funds throughout the year with raffle prizes, sponsorship and donations. I wanted to draw people’s attention to how important it is for communities to support small businesses in the same way that local shops and retailers support their community 52 weeks of a normal year.” Download the App free at

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