Cannock Chase Council is working with Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) to launch the ShopAppy scheme in the district in November.
Businesses that join up will get their own website profile where they can share images, opening times, contact details and other information. ShopAppy will also offer traders an opportunity to sell their goods and services online to customers, who will be able to arrange click and collect or home delivery options.
But councillors were told at this month’s cabinet meeting that by October 15 just one Rugeley business had signed up – and there had been no takers in Hednesford.
Councillor Gordon Alcott, portfolio leader for town centre regeneration, said: “So far in Cannock there have been four businesses signed up and there are 20 in the process of being signed up, so there will be 24 in Cannock and possibly more to come.
“Can we ask our PR department to do a press release to remind people it’s for their benefit, to advertise their business and it’s free for 12 months? They ought to be taking advantage of it.”
Council leader George Adamson said: “It is disappointing that no-one in Hednesford has joined and there’s only one in Rugeley. It’s for the benefit of their businesses – they really need to come on board.”
ShopAppy schemes are already running in other towns and cities in the country including Walsall, Sheffield, Barnsley and Hull.
GBSLEP is paying the cost of the subscriptions for the Cannock Chase scheme, meaning the district’s independent retailers use the app for free for 12 months.
Councillor Alcott, speaking after the cabinet meeting, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone, especially the local economy. This app will help local retailers in the Cannock Chase District to promote their goods and services.
“I am urging all local independent retailers to get involved in this particular initiative and help us to boost the local economy and encourage our residents to shop local. The app is free for 12 months, so they’ve got nothing to lose.
“We are very fortunate that the GBSLEP are backing this initiative in Cannock Chase and we hope by supporting ShopAppy it will help to boost sales for the independent retailers in our towns.”
As well as a platform to display and sell goods and services, retailers who join up to ShopAppy will be able to access full ShopAppy training videos and support and join local marketing campaigns.
Dr Jackie Mulligan, Founder of ShopAppy.com said: “We are delighted to be working in Cannock Chase District and to be partnering with the council, local businesses and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership on this launch of the ShopAppy.com platform in the area.
“With our recently announced partnership with VISA helping us to provide support to more small businesses across the UK, we are certain that this will provide a real and tangible benefit to Cannock, Rugeley and Hednesford businesses and communities – helping them to support each other for a faster local economic and community recovery.”
For more information, including how to sign up, visit https://shopappy.com.