BRADFORD BID is urging city centre businesses to take advantage of an innovative new scheme aimed at boosting trade and helping them bounce back from the Covid-19 lockdown.

The Business Improvement District has teamed up with multi-award-winning app LoyalFree which has been making a big impact supporting high streets in 21 towns and cities across the country.

The app – which, so far, has more than 47,000 users – provides a completely free opportunity for local businesses to promote their offers and events, with the option to run a “loyalty stamp” scheme, feature in local shopping trails and sell products or vouchers online through a no-commission marketplace.

BID manager Jonny Noble said: “Businesses across the country have been badly hit by the Coronavirus restrictions and the BID is working hard to find innovative and effective ways to support them both now and as they try to bounce back after the lockdown is eased.

“The LoyalFree app scheme has been hugely successful across the country and it makes absolute sense for us to make this available to the BID’s 630 levy-payers, especially as it is free for them to use and simple to set up.”

BID chairman Ian Ward added: “We would urge BID business members to come forward with their offers and vouchers as soon as possible so that, when we launch this to the public in the next few weeks, there is an impressive array of benefits to get them signing up and supporting the city centre.

“There is nothing to lose and potentially a great deal to gain for everyone who gets involved.”

Businesses can see the app and how it works at: loyalfree.co.uk/demo.

The place promotion app will highlight various aspects of Bradford, including tourism information, business offers, event listings, interactive trails and more.

Levy-paying businesses will benefit from the promotion of their offers and events to locals and visitors alike; they will get customer insights through a live dashboard; and links to their website, social media, reviews and more, all completely free.

They will feature in city centre “trails” on the LoyalFree app, which will guide shoppers to a list of retailers, hospitality and leisure providers, such as Open for Business, Vegan Food, Family Friendly, Dog Friendly, Best Independents and so on. Eventually, these may be interactive ones where people can vote and scan.

Sophie Hainsworth, one of the app’s co-founders, said: “There are many ways businesses can get involved with the app right now. It is vital we populate it with as much information as possible so we can launch this to the public and start to help your business and promote sales as soon as possible.

“The best performing offers are usually exclusive to the app or a digital loyalty-stamp scheme. In these times, we are aware this may not be immediately possible and in the short term we can promote online deals too.

“Cafes, for instance, may currently opt to run a loyalty scheme on takeaway drinks – such as “get your 6th coffee free” – as all that is required is a QR code for customers to scan with their smartphone.”

More than 2,500 businesses are currently promoted through the app and more than 130,000 digital loyalty stamps have been collected to date.

All levy-paying businesses have to do to start the process is send an e-mail to info@loyalfree.co.uk starting with “Bradford BID area” and including: their business name, details of the offer or loyalty scheme and their terms and conditions. LoyalFree will create a profile and send the business a log-in to make changes and add information if they wish. There have been more than 400,000 views of business profiles since the app launched.

Mr Noble said: “It is brilliantly simple. And, in the current difficult climate, we are also offering a new service alongside the app to support independent businesses, the LoyalFree Marketplace.

“It allows BID levy-payers to sell products online, without any charge or commission except a small payment processing fee. So, if you don’t have an e-commerce website or want to avoid large fees on other platforms, this is perfect.”