An innovative digital company is preparing to launch 1,000 new websites to promote the nation’s pubs and bars over the next 12 months.
Newcastle tech firm useyourlocal.com has already produced 500 dedicated websites – following significant enhancements to its digital platform – and predicts it will double that figure due to continuing demand.
It was also able to reinvest in the business after securing tax credits on research and development work carried out to expand the platform, following advice from RG (Ryecroft Glenton)
Stuart Mills, the firm’s founder and CEO, came up with the idea for useyourlocal.com after recognising many brands, bars and pubs were finding it difficult to digitally connect with the UK’s pub goers.
He said: “We know that people are going online in ever increasing numbers to find out what’s happening in pubs and bars, and that over three quarters of people would go out more often if they just knew what was going on.”
Useyourlocal.com – which attracts 500,000 visitors a month – provides a free listings service highlighting the key attractions of the UK’s 60,000 pubs and bars. For an annual fee, pubs and bars can add their news, offers and events, and have their own dedicated website powered by the useyourlocal platform.
“People want to know what’s happening in pubs or bars before they visit. Whether it serves food, is holding a quiz night or has other entertainment planned. We actively promote and connect these pubs and bars with customers to help get people through the doors more often.”
More than 35,000 people have so far registered with the site to follow local pubs and receive regular notifications together with exclusive money saving offers.
One of the main factors behind the continuing success of useyourlocal has been the real growth over the last 12 months of its dedicated website service. Due to an investment in technology, a pub can have a website up and running in as little as ten minutes.
Mr Mills said: “Many pubs and bars find running a website far too difficult and as a result they are outdated, are not smartphone friendly and certainly don’t contain the information customers need when searching for where to go on a night out.”
Useyourlocal.com, which employs eight staff, was able to reinvest in the business following advice from chartered accountant Nigel Wyrley-Birch, of Newcastle-based RG.
He identified that the company could claim tax credits on money spent on research and development work – which included the creation of computer code.
HM Revenue & Customs allows small and medium sized businesses to claim additional Corporation Tax savings on such activities related to science and technology projects.
Mr Wyrley-Birch, said: “Many companies are unaware they can benefit from this tax incentive and believe it only relates to people in white lab coats involved in scientific projects.
“The incentive is part of HMRC’s aim to support innovative businesses by encouraging technological advances.”
Mr Mills, who previously worked for Scottish and Newcastle Breweries in sales and marketing, said: “I wasn’t aware of this tax incentive so the money saved has been reinvested in the business, which is vital to maintain our ongoing success.
“I wish to thank RG for its expertise and diligence and it’s certainly an excellent example of the benefits of taking professional advice.”