Parity is a new digital marketplace for businesses within Birmingham that uses a local currency to boost liquidity amongst its users. We developed our platform working with a diverse range of companies in the Jewellery Quarter and support from the University of Birmingham and Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership. Although the initial focus had been on business-to-business transactions, we now have two members who use Parity to attract new customers to their licensed premises.
1000Trades, a local independent pub voted “Best Place to Drink” at the OFM Awards 2019 and Rock and Roll Brewhouse, a vegan microbrewery and event venue. They wanted to use the platform to increase their footfall and support the local business community. Both commit to operating in a socially and environmentally friendly way through supporting initiatives such as Slow Food. Let me explain how the local currency works for their businesses to meet their commercial and social objectives.
Every member of Parity posts offers on the marketplace that they are willing to sell in exchange for the local currency. They can post their main product list, or try it out with loss leaders, introductory offers or unsold stock. This encourages other users of Parity who are all local business-owners to come to their premises. In the case of 1000Trades, they could post that they accept the local currency for the draught craft beers. They then upsell their food menu or bottled drinks for traditional pound sterling when people come to their premises to spend the local currency. They have increased footfall of local professionals and business-owners, adding to the already vibrant atmosphere in the pub.
Income in the local currency can be spent within the marketplace to purchase costs that their businesses need. Only independent businesses can join Parity, which keeps the value circulating locally and supports the local community. If they can source their business expenses through Parity using the local currency, then they keep pound sterling in their business. On top of the income, businesses on Parity also have access to a 0% credit facility that can be used to make purchases in the marketplace. This sort of support could prove vital with the growing economic issues associated with Covid-19.
We thought the Jewellery Quarter would be a great place to launch our marketplace and local currency. There is a high number of independent businesses and a strong sense of community. We are now expanding our reach to meet the needs of the wider Birmingham business community. It’s free to join Parity and post up to five listings, allowing you to attract new local customers. Members also get up to £500 worth of 0% credit within the marketplace, so they don’t have to wait to make a sale before they start purchasing their business expenses. This really does help with cashflow, as it frees up pound sterling for your more important needs. Members who use the credit then top the balance back up with future sales to other users. This is free forever, although there is an optional upgrade to access more credit and do more business in Parity.
Parity is being used by local independent businesses in the Jewellery Quarter to attract new customers and increase their revenue. It is free to join the marketplace and post initial offers to try it out. It’s our vision to grow the network to hundreds of independent businesses across Birmingham. Book a demo to see how it can work for your business or sign up online today. Thanks for reading.
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