Some good news for hospitality in lockdown: Discounted coupons, income for hospitality businesses and support for charities with Save my Spot
South Africa (21 May 2020) – While the South African populace vacillates between adoration and rejection of their leaders, conspiracy theories flourish, lockdown levels are dangled like carrots, politicians bicker, and the man in the street (but only between 7- and 9-am) just wants a beer and a smoke, entire sectors of our economy are facing an existential threat the likes of which hasn’t been seen in living memory.
In an attempt to ease some of the terrible human suffering and austerity brought upon our people by COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown, the Bathurst Development Trust, a small NGO set up to help maintain and uplift the quaint farming and tourist town of Bathurst in the Eastern Cape, set up a feeding scheme to ensure fellow South Africans forbidden from working don’t go hungry. This has been the Bathurst Development Trust’s single-minded purpose for over a month. To date, the Trust has raised over R225 000 and distributed around 600 food parcels to the struggling community.
However, while helping the retrenched and locked-down staff of closed establishments, we were made acutely aware of the plight of tourism-based businesses. Hospitality businesses provide a large number of jobs in the Bathurst community, and other small towns like it across our nation and tourism as an industry contributes around 10% of South Africa’s GDP.
Tourism and hospitality businesses are likely to stand last in line to be released from trading restrictions as the impact of the virus wanes, so how do they preserve their names, their reputations and their visibility in their community and amongst their customers? How will these businesses, especially the smaller and more informal ones, be able to reopen and begin trading and providing employment once again after months of little to no income?
Save my Spot was born out of the realisation that without some cash flow, many restaurants, pubs, hotels, hairdressers and other locked-down businesses, which employ and uplift a great number of our people (not to mention fulfil an important social and cultural role in their communities) will be forced to shut their doors forever.
Save my Spot aims to ensure that the spots that are important to you, and the people they employ, will have the means to reopen when the time comes. When you buy a Corona Coupon, you won’t just be getting a discount for your favourite hangout, helping out a small business owner, and keeping others employed, you’ll also be contributing a portion of the money you spend at Save my Spot to charities that help to uplift and empower South Africans and develop our nation.
In a “pay-it-forward” type plan to provide services deferred into the post-Covid-19 future, we will secure the future for many. Although we have our roots in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, our coupon scheme will be open to all affected merchants.
About the Bathurst Development Trust
The Bathurst Development Trust (BDT) is a community-led and charitably funded organisation that strives to provide the people of Bathurst, Nolukhanyo and surrounding areas with the resources, skills, and assistance they need to break the cycle of poverty and uplift the area as a whole.
Projects funded by the trust focus primarily on sustainable community upliftment programmes, and tourism initiatives (this being the largest contributor to the area’s economy).
About Save my Spot
From favourite restaurants to borderline-essential hair salons to hotels with sentimental significance, not to mention your local pub, we all have places that are important to us, and all of them face great difficulty under the COVID 19 lockdown.
Save My Spot aims to ensure that the spots that are important to you, and the people they employ, will have the means to reopen when the time comes. When you buy a Corona Coupon, you won’t just be getting a discount for your favourite hangout, helping out a small business owner, and keeping others employed, you’ll also be contributing a portion of the money you spend at Save my Spot to charities that help to uplift and empower South Africans and develop our nation. Think of this as a Pay-it-forward investment towards securing your pre-COVID 19 lifestyle.
For more information contact Gavin Came on firstname.lastname@example.org