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. When we first moved into our office, we were surprised by the innovative and diverse local firms across the Jewellery Quarter. It’s not just jewellery firms, but a mix of independently-owned service, consultancy and advisory businesses.
All businesses are now adopting digital technologies to increase efficiencies and improve their offer. Covid-19 has made this even more important, with the need to socially distance while conducting business. The Big Peg at the heart of the Jewellery Quarter attracts digital and creative businesses, like Narce Media, a member of Parity. They are a growing digital agency that plans, delivers and distributes high quality videos to help raise the profile of their clients. As young innovators, they decided to join Parity and accept the local currency as payment for their services. Let me explain how it works for their business.
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 generic services, or try it out with specific offers, introductory promotions or loss leaders. Other local businesses on Parity can view these offers in the digital marketplace and purchase them using the local currency. Narce Media can post an offer to produce a short social media-friendly video that would allow the client to digitally promote themselves. This gives Narce Media a chance to meet new clients and build relationships that could lead on to future larger projects in traditional pound sterling.
The most valuable aspect of any service business is the time of its founders and staff. But if that time isn’t fully allocated to clients and contracts each month, that it’s wasted. Many service firms will plan at the beginning of each month how much time is not committed to generating income. Parity provides an innovative way to sell that downtime to local businesses. It provides an income in the local currency that can then be spent in the marketplace to purchase the costs that business needs. Only independent businesses can join Parity, which keeps the value circulating locally. 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 unique feature 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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