Tech Firms Step Up with Free Online Sales Help for Local SMEs

Local tech firms partner to help area SMEs take offline sales online

Photo: Eunika Sot of Yuser, one of a handful of tech professionals helping local firms transition to online sales

FOLLOWING THE ADDITION of more than 180 small businesses to www.supportlondonbusinesses.com, a group of local tech companies are partnering to provide brick-and-mortar businesses with help and guidance transitioning to online sales.

Last week, rTraction launched supportlondonbusinesses.com with help from Benjamin Glauss, a local IT consultant and project manager. Supportlondonbusinesses.com is a website where Londoners can pledge to do one activity a day to support a local business, and visitors can also add their favourite business to a growing list posted at the footer of the site.

This week, tech-related firms Yuser, Last Draft and The RH Accelerator have joined the initiative, which is expanding to include free services that directly support business owners in setting up online stores. Katheen MacAinsh, the local community manager at Shopify, is also contributing to the effort.

The project will prioritize local product-based companies, especially those in the food-and-beverage and retail sectors, and will include:

  • A free virtual workshop on setting up online stores, hosted by London Small Business Centre, on April 1 (register here);
  • The release of an instructional webinar (date to be announced);
  • Free online office hours for support, Friday, March 27, 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday, April 3, 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“We are grateful for the team at Yuser, Last Draft and others who have stepped up in a big way to help our community,” said David Billson, co-founder and CEO of rTraction. “We are constantly impressed by the way Londoners show up for Londoners.”

Eunika Sot, co-founder and COO of Yuser, adds, “I’ve noticed so many of my favourite local businesses trying to manage online orders through Instagram. This is a resource-intensive and inefficient process, but it proves that the demand from customers is there. All those businesses need online stores and they need them now.”

Businesses looking for support can sign up here to be contacted by email as services are released over the next few days. For questions, contact Jacob Sandler at jacob@lastdraft.ca.

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