The team behind Falkirk’s postponed Vibration Festival, due to be headlined by Basement Jaxx, have come up with a way to help crisis hit small businesses generate income.

Online pledge platform Tide Over allows customers to pledge support for their favourite local businesses by buying an e-voucher – throwing companies a lifeline during the coronavirus pandemic.

After postponing their own event due to Covid-19, brothers Andy and David Ure from Falkirk and business partner Fiona Dawson from Callander decided to put their creative skills to good use by creating a free and easy to use online tool to allow small businesses to generate income while their doors are closed.

Tide Over allows businesses to sign up for free and invite customers to pledge money in the form of a voucher to be redeemed later when the company reopens.

The platform differs from other online crowdfunding platforms in that money is paid out within 7 days of vouchers being purchased, meaning companies can access the cash when they need it most.

Organiser Andy Ure said: “It was a no brainer for us. We had the time and the skill set between us to set something up that could make a real difference for small businesses and the self-employed. Tide Over is particularly aimed at those that don’t have a great online presence or e-commerce solution to sell vouchers for use when they open back up. It’s free for businesses to sign up and businesses keep 100% of the pledges.  The response so far has been fantastic, and we are already seeing independent business smash their targets. This is a terrible time for so many of us, so it has been inspiring to see so much support for small, local businesses.”

West End of Glasgow knitting café, The Yarn Cake has already received over £1000 in pledges since signing up to the free platform.

Owner, Antje Karl said: “Many customers have asked how they can support us while we’re shut – and this is it! While we’re eligible for some government help, that will only keep the overheads at bay for a limited period of time. Pledges to Tide Over act as gift vouchers to be used once things settle down and will help us, hopefully, to restock once we reopen. We have been absolutely blown away by our customers’ support over the last few weeks. We’re utterly heartbroken that we are unable to trade under the current lockdown guidelines, but we won’t let a virus keep us down! It’s our tenth anniversary in October and we fully intend to still be around then, thanks to Tide Over’s support.”

Scotland’s largest vinyl record shop, Europa Music in Stirling has also signed up. Owner Ewen Duncan said: “Europa is in its 44th year and we’d like to keep it going as the largest Vinyl Record shop in Scotland. We don’t have an online presence, so we’re asking people to pledge through Tide Over and pay it forward for any of our products or gift a voucher as a present. This would be redeemable in shop once we are open again.”

To sign up to Tide Over or help support a business visit www.tideover.co