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Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Retail businesses across 13 council areas in Kent** are being invited to access a new, free programme, Local Rewards run in collaboration between Kent & Medway Growth Hub and social media specialists, Maybe* Tech.

The initiative aims to help retailers across Kent recover from the impact of COVID-19, support them in reaching more customers and make more sales. Local Rewards allows businesses to communicate with and reward shoppers when they hit the high streets and has been created with the intention of ‘levelling the playing field’ between local retailers and giants like Amazon. Businesses can also cross-promote and support their high street neighbours to create an online network of connected traders.  The technology enables shoppers to see businesses near them and view their social media content, engage and shop with them through their via Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp on mobile phones and desktops.

Rebecca Green of The Beehive, a clothing shop in Ashford using the Maybe* Tech Local Rewards platform explains, “Lockdowns have heightened the importance of supporting local independent businesses and I like the way the technology allows you to easily engage with other local businesses to increase the feeling of community within the town. I would definitely recommend the platform to people who have little to no experience of social media, who want to get a better understanding of what works for them and easily connect with their customers and other businesses.”

Tudor Price from Kent & Medway Growth Hub, praised the initiative, saying, “As a county, we are blessed with a diverse, thriving retail sector and we are delighted to be launching the new Local Rewards High Street Guide programme that will connect shops and shoppers in an exciting, innovative way.

Every business that signs up to manage their listing on the Local Rewards High Street Guide will also have access to an extensive range of social media tools and training provided by Maybe* Tech.

Polly Barnfield OBE, CEO of Maybe* Tech comments, “Around two thirds of shoppers regularly look online for inspiration and the Local Rewards High Street Guide programme groups all social media content by location to encourage people to browse their local high street and then rewards them for their local spend. High streets need infrastructure that until now has only been available for online businesses and this programme will help local retailers level the playing field with giants like Amazon. They need to communicate with shoppers in real-time and be able to showcase what’s available. In order to compete, High Street businesses need to up their digital game, promote their physical stores and collaborate. Our platforms help them collectively to do that and we are delighted to be working with businesses in both towns.”

Data within the Maybe* Tech platform shows that across Kent, around 24% of retailers use social media. Of those retailers on social media around 30% are active, posting most days. Retailers and shoppers can access the platform online and just search for their area.

For advice and support, contact the Business Recovery Helpline number: 0333602300


** Kent councils participating in High Street Guides programme

  1. Ashford Borough Council
  2. Canterbury City Council
  3. Dartford Borough Council
  4. Dover District Council
  5. Folkestone & Hythe District Council
  6. Gravesham Borough Council
  7. Maidstone Borough Council
  8. Medway Council
  9. Sevenoaks District Council
  10. Swale Borough Council
  11. Thanet District Council
  12. Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council
  13. Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

The platform has been developed to provide high street businesses across the retail, hospitality, leisure, health and beauty sectors, with access to social media, the tools and training to increase their customer base and drive sales. It also gives businesses the opportunity to engage with each other, creating a network of connected traders that can support and promote each other across social media. The Maybe* platform also provides practical suggestions and easy to use tools allowing organisations to connect with their audience, improve their return on investment and understand how to stay ahead of their competition.


About Maybe* 

The Maybe* platform collates the data from 3.4 million businesses from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram on a daily basis and provides engagement, insight and reporting tools that enable clients to increase their sales via social media. Maybe* is a partner on the UK Government’s High Street Task Force which is a 5-year project that supports High Street regeneration. Maybe* supplies the social media data for all UK Local Authority dashboards. To help High Streets recover from COVID, the Maybe* team has created Guides for over 3600 UK High Streets. Local Rewards. This is a nationwide program that provides free tools that connect shoppers, local businesses and places.

View High Street Guides:

View Social Media Tools and Training:

To learn more about the support on offer please attend this webinar:

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