A new app helping Welsh traders reach consumers in the fight back against the coronavirus has been launched.
By creating a digital shop window, iTown enables consumers using the app to see what products are on offer locally in businesses such as corner shops, butchers, fruit and veg outlets, bakers, and food takeaways.
Free to download iTown collates up to the second information from local firms.
Users can then order and arrange delivery through a simple online messaging service and pay online.
Whilst there will be a roll-out across Wales over the next couple of weeks, the first place to adopt iTown will be Treorchy in the South Wales Valleys, which was recently voted the best high street in the UK.
Professor Dylan Jones Jones Evans, part of the founding team at iTown said:“At this difficult time for Welsh business, it’s wonderful to see entrepreneurs come together to do something collectively for the community we work in every day.
“By creating an app that will collate information from all the businesses in each local area in one place, residents will now be able to go online to link directly to those shops and outlets remaining open in their high street and therefore help their local businesses at this critical time.”
Kate Methuen-Ley, who has worked with other local entrepreneurs to get the app off the ground said: “I was trawling through Facebook and Twitter and sharing any information of local businesses who were delivering, doing take-out or had items in stock. However, I couldn’t really find one website where my friends and family could only find out what was available from local businesses.
“As a small business owner myself, I also realised that shops would find it difficult to get their message out to customers during the current lockdown”.
They have been working alongside Vicky Mann, a Pontypridd based entrepreneur who had already developed a potential solution to the problem via the NearMeNow app that promotes the physical presence of the bricks and mortar businesses by amplifying their shop window advertising.
Vicky said “when we discussed how to help local firms, I immediately realised that there was something tangible we could do to support businesses, towns and high streets during these uncertain times.
“NearMeNow has always championed the independent businesses since its inception and I was more than happy to help create a free open basic version to help those communities and businesses who need to advertise, communicate and transact remotely through a simple easy to use platform”