We are facing a crisis that none of us have ever experienced before. The COVID-19 outbreak is having an immeasurable impact on businesses across Dorset. Consequently, we took it upon ourselves to launch a new digital initiative to support local businesses and freelancers.
We launched Keeping Dorset Afloat on 19th March 2020, four days before official lockdown started in the UK. Inspired by a similar initiative in Bath, we wanted to do something to help the local businesses whom we love, as well as support our local community.
Keeping Dorset Afloat is an Instagram-Only platform which shares offers and promotions on behalf of Dorset’s local businesses and freelancers who need help in the wake of this devastating virus. Within 6 weeks, we gained a following of over 1,500 users and have collaborated with more than 170 local businesses.
From manufacturers to marketing agencies, Keeping Dorset Afloat has already shared some great promotions from local businesses that everyone can support while in isolation. Jurassic Coast Farm Shop and Norden Farm Shop have both offered discounts on their food deliveries. Mini Mind Health has offered free advice and support online for those with kids who are struggling to cope. Digital Storm Ltd have offered businesses rates on their services, helping businesses in Dorset get online.
The Keeping Dorset Afloat project is a completely free opportunity for local businesses to reach their local community. Inspired by Conker Gin and Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, we created Keeping Dorset Afloat to do our part in supporting local businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak.
To support the project, please visit Keeping Dorset Afloat on Instagram to view our latest posts. Please continue to like, comment and share but, most importantly, please buy from local businesses in Dorset. If you are a local business and you would like to get involved, please message us via Instagram and we’ll let you know what we need from you in order to be featured.
It’s important now more than ever before to support our local businesses, the backbone of the economy, in whatever ways we can.
As of May 2020, there are now more than 12 ‘Keeping Afloat’ initiatives across the UK and Ireland, with more similar profiles popping up across Europe and the USA on a weekly basis. We are proud to play our small part and encourage you to do the same.