Small businesses struggling to communicate their changing circumstances to their local community during COVID-19 shutdowns, can now list their business on LocalMotion – a free web directory created in Canberra.
Announced on 7 April, the directory has already attracted interest Australia-wide with listings in Broken Hill, Adelaide and Perth as well as Canberra.
LocalMotion cofounder Nick Tyrell, owner of the GoBoat electric picnic boat business at Kingston Foreshore, said so far they have about 140 listings on the directory, of which about 80 are located in the ACT.
“So many small business owners around the country don’t have time to create websites, let alone Facebook pages in the best of times, so I got together with Eric Di Cuollo from Canberra-based website and branding company, ED., to build something quick and simple and see if we can help out the small business community,” Mr Tyrrell said.
While the project started as a means to assist small business, Mr Tyrrell said he underestimated the community’s response.
“There are so many people in the community that want to support small business,” he said. “There’s a huge amount of goodwill in the community.”
LocalMotion gives small businesses the opportunity to communicate what they’re doing differently during COVID-19 and how the community can support them.
Mr Tyrrell said some examples he has seen include home deliveries from hardware stores, some locations developing apps, such as for pre-ordering coffee, or even a gift store offering video previews of their gifts to help you shop.
“LocalMotion is for every small business, from the sole trader lawn mowing service to local restaurants or even farm-gate producers,” he said.
Visitors to Local Motion land on a map of their local town or suburb, and can immediately see those small businesses listed by category. They can find out the vital up-to-date information on any listed local business, and can also search more widely across their city or state.
For anyone wanting to list their business, Mr Tyrrell said it’s a simple process to jump online and make a listing. However “if they are not computer literate, they can contact us and we’ll help them set up their listing as well”.
While the initial plan is to have the directory online for six months, Mr Tyrrell said it could continue beyond that.
“If businesses think there is a need for it … it doesn’t take much to keep the platform going,” he said.
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