Airbnb extends initiative to support SMEs in Joburg 

International home-sharing platform Airbnb has announced that it will be extending the host-led initiative ‘Support Jozi, Shop Local’ to provide continuous support to SMEs in the city and to aid in economic sector recovery. 

Held in partnership with local payment app  SnapScan, the initiative aims to assist the recovery of SMEs in Johannesburg by providing an incentive for people to support small businesses in the city.

Airbnb extends Support Jozi Shop Local initiative

Velma Corcoran, Middle East, and Africa Regional Lead for Airbnb comments on the importance of the programme in supporting SMEs.

“Airbnb’s community is known for its passion for spending and supporting local small businesses, and as many guests on Airbnb will know, it’s often their Hosts who have the best local recommendations. Initiatives like this help drive local recovery in South Africa while providing an economic lifeline for local families, small businesses, and communities. We know local businesses are struggling right now, so together with local Hosts, we want to highlight them and give them the praise they deserve, and encourage everyone to support their community, and shop local.”

Support Jozi, Shop Local

Locals are encouraged to visit recommended small businesses by their hosts through the Airbnb platform and by using the SnapScan app at these suggested locations, individuals can earn cashback vouchers called ‘Jozibucks’. 

These vouchers can be spent in allocated SMEs until the end of May 2021 and aim to increase overall revenue for these businesses. The initiative provides a platform where SMEs can showcase their services and products, further promoting their offer and hopefully draw in new customers.

Some of the businesses included in this innovative initiative include coffee shops, eateries, hair salons, and more. Some of these small businesses are The Bioscope and Salvation Cafe in Millpark, Home of the Bean in Jeppestown, Victoria Yards in Lorentzville, and Wild Hair in Parkhurst.

Support Jozi, Shop Local provides a podium for local small businesses to showcase their products and gain customer traction. 

Supporting contactless payments by partnering with SnapScan, individuals are able to purchase items or pay for services via the easy-to-use mobile app.

Chris Zeitsman, CEO of SnapScan comments on the launch of Support Jozi Support Local. 

“At SnapScan, we can see first hand the impact the pandemic has had on small businesses across South Africa. The Airbnb Support Jozi initiative not only shines a light on hardworking small business owners but will also generate a real economic impact that directly supports recovery in local communities.” 

Johannesburg SME map

To further the overall plight of the initiative, Airbnb has created a map and guide, in partnership with South African Tourism, IAMJOBURG, CURIOCITY, and Gauteng Tourism Authority. 

The map showcases numerous small businesses in Johannesburg where users can utilise the SnapScan app to spend and earn vouchers as indicated with a Jozibucks pin. 

Dawn Robertson, CEO of Constitution Hill and custodian of the IAMJOBURG digital tourism platform explains that initiatives such as this are integral to reviving the local economy. 

“The impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic has been devastating for businesses in Johannesburg and across South Africa. We are delighted to be partnering with Airbnb on an endeavor such as this that promotes the support of local businesses in our city to serve as a catalyst towards our efforts in reigniting the economy.”

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Featured image: Little Addis (Supplied)



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