Anelise Siddle and Emma Tawse are stepping up to help independents with an innovative, free-to-use online platform called Folk. The two marketing specialists from Boldy have taken time outside of their work in an effort to help independent retailers affected by forced closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Launched on 30 March, Folk is a comprehensive directory for local, independent retailers to showcase what can be purchased, collected and/or delivered from their businesses. The duo has been working around the clock to bring a community-minded platform centred around keeping small operations connected to the wider community. The platform brings together local, independent retailers impacted by COVID-19 in one place, where they can profile their businesses and communicate clearly what they are offering customers for pick-up or delivery during the business lockdown. “On a fundamental level, it is the white pages of food and drink based businesses still trading amid the pandemic. At the same time, it’s a support network, bringing together news and advice from industry experts that will support businesses through this hardship,” Tawse says.

Currently, more value adding features are in the pipeline. “The concept is fluid and we are designing solutions in response to whatever need presents itself, such as logistics around delivery for example and strategic alignments that will encourage an uptake of sustainable packaging in the face of a rise in takeaway trade,” Siddle says. “We’re calling Brisbanites and the rest of Australia to support their local, independent businesses over large commercial operations where possible at this time. We’re cutting out the middleman by connecting local customers to local providers directly, which means no commission losses to retailers in need – every penny goes to those who need it most.”

Independent business owners are able to register online via the Folk platform for free.

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