Could holding an online raffle be the way to give your business a much-needed boost in these strange times? Can virtual raffles save business?
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In south London, independent traders are being thrown a lifeline by online raffles, organised by two community groups, Save East Dulwich and the Big SE Raffle, which have raised thousands of pounds for local shops, salons and pubs.
Victoria Rennison, who set up the Save East Dulwich raffle, said she came up with the idea after wondering “what would happen to East Dulwich if all of these businesses went under?”
“There’s such a sense of community because of them – I feel like they need some support from us in return,” she said. “I was thinking, what could I do remotely, when no one is allowed to see each other?”
… to Manchester
A business owner has created a virtual community raffle to support independent businesses during lockdown in Salford west. Susie Kwok, 48-year-old, owner of On Our Doorstep magazine began fundraising last weekend and has since sold almost 50 tickets. She said: “There are 1,000 tickets on sale. This would allow us to help 20 local businesses. If this takes off, we will continue running raffles until the lockdown is over. Our ultimate target would be to reach 10,000 tickets – which would mean we have helped 200 local businesses!”
“Each prize will be worth £50 or more. So, for £1, you could win a brilliant prize, plus the satisfaction you have helped our businesses which are the heart of our community. She added “Can virtual raffles save business by promoting services and products?”
As a business owner, Ms Kwok knows first-hand what local independent businesses in Salford are experiencing. Before the lockdown On Our Doorstep was ready to distribute their April/May issue but that has since been postponed. Ms Kwok continued to say that there is not enough financial support for businesses: “It’s based on your final profits and what you’ve submitted in your final self-assessment.”
“It doesn’t take into account that before you take out your profit you have to pay your employees, printers etc. Then you still have the worry of how to pay those other bills that are in no way covered by the government grant.”
Currently, Ms Kwok takes no percentage from the Salford West raffle to support her business as “it didn’t feel right”. But there are hopes that soon she will be able to offer a prize to help her business as well as others. Ms Kwok says: “It’s important that the community doesn’t forget these businesses.”
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