In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, like many businesses, Caz Wales, creator of Thame Rewards Club, recognised that there was not a quick and easy way to know which businesses were open and what amended services they were providing, such as home delivery. As a result, Caz launched the ever-expanding SHOP OX9 Directory & Guide to solve this problem and it now details over 100 local independent businesses, all of whom are either in Thame itself, or in neighbouring villages. This is in partnership with the existing Thame Rewards Club initiative, which provides the opportunity for local businesses to incentivise trade through providing offers for Thame Rewards Club members. You can currently sign up to Thame Rewards Club for just £5 per year to access exclusive offers to save you money when you support participating businesses. To provide examples, TRC Card holders can currently enjoy 10% off at the Woodworks Trading Ltd for purchases over £15 and the Wild Lemongrass Chinese is providing 5% off between Sunday and Wednesday.
Caz explained “Thame and the local area has a fantastic array of high-quality independent businesses, but it can be difficult to know who and where they are, especially if they do not have a physical high street presence. As a result, I decided to create a central platform to showcase and promote local businesses to boost local exposure, community awareness and use. The Pandemic has placed small businesses under huge strain and now is a more important time than ever for us all to support them to help them recover”. Over the past 8 weeks since lockdown, the Directory has received over 10,000 visitors and a recent SHOP OX9 survey revealed that 75% of respondents have discovered and used independent businesses they were not previously aware of, because of the Shop OX9 Directory which is one of the core goals of the Shop OX9 Guide.
The directory has been supported by Thame Town Council who have been able to sign post residents to a central location where they knew that information about opening times and how to access services were being updated regularly. During the height of the lock down, so many businesses changed how they worked in order to meet the needs of the local community and ShopOX9 provided this detail, working hard to make sure that it stayed current at all times. Both TTC and ShopOX9 are passionate about supporting the local businesses that have worked so hard to support us during this time, and together have gone on to work in partnership to launch a ‘shop local’ campaign – encouraging us all to ‘think local first’, not just now but in the future, once ‘normal’ life returns. Part of this normal life is ensuring that residents feel safe about coming back to use the town centre and so the partnership has expanded to include Adactus, a local company that have developed an App that allows you to ‘take a ticket’ in a queue for the business you want to join. It is hugely simple to use and will allow residents to wait safely elsewhere or visit other shops that do not have a queue, while they are waiting for their turn to come up in the queue. (just download ‘SmartQ by Adactus’ from the App/Play store)
If you own/run a local independent business, you can currently register for a free basic listing, on the Directory until 1st September 2020. Caz told us “Although it is great news that businesses are starting to reopen and a sense of normality is returning, providing the option of a free listing is one way Shop OX9 can support local businesses, whilst also supporting the local community to easily access services and products through having a comprehensive go-to guide”.
If you would like to discover and enjoy more independent businesses on your doorsteps or just a short walk/drive away, please visit:
VISIT THE DIRECTORY: www.shopox9.com
JOIN THAME REWARDS CLUB: www.thamerewardsclub.com
Follow via Facebook.com/ThameRewardsClub
Follow via instagram.com/thame.rewards.club.shop.ox9