What makes BE A LOCAL HERO different?
BE A LOCAL HERO is a community engagement platform designed to support and promote independent businesses across all sectors.
Our site has been designed to specifically meet the needs of small businesses who are having cash flow problems due to the COVID-19 lockdown, but who are not looking for donations. Our main benefits are below:
- We do not charge any commission on voucher sales
- Our voucher management system supports a transparent and simple tracking and redemption process
- Payment is transferred directly and securely from the customer to the small business, using Stripe Connect. BE A LOCAL HERO does not touch this money
- Payment is immediately credited to the business’s Stripe account. There are no fundraising windows allowing the money to get to the businesses immediately
- Our simple registration process allows you to be up and running in about 30 minutes
- Our platform is highly scalable and supports the sale of any number of different products. Please get in touch if you are interested in this
- Our community engagement platform allows businesses to reach new customers and grow the online presence of their brand
How does BE A LOCAL HERO make money?
Currently we don’t. We are passionate about our community and our main priority is to provide a valuable service to independent local businesses.
- We do not charge a fee for a site
- We do not receive any money for voucher sales
- We do not take money to promote or feature particular businesses
- We do not accept corporate sponsorship
- We support guest checkout and do not monetise any data that we collect. Any personal information is solely used to fulfill orders
In the future we plan to expand our engagement platform, supporting the growth ambitions of local businesses. In the meantime, if you would like to make a donation to support us on this journey, please follow this link
How do you handle payments?
We are using Stripe Connect as our payment processor. Businesses will need to connect their existing account or create one during registration. Customers pay using Stripe’s secure checkout process.
- BE A LOCAL HERO does not collect card details and is not involved in the payment process. When a voucher is purchased, the money is transferred directly from the customer’s card to the business’s stripe account. You will be able to withdraw the money from your Stripe account 7 calendar days after the payment has been received.
Please note that Stripe charge a small transaction fee for each process. This is the rate agreed between Stripe and the business and is not set by BE A LOCAL HERO. The standard rate is as follows:
- 1.4% and 0.20 for European Cards
- 2.9% and £0.20 for Non-European Cards
- For a full overview on Stripes fees please follow this link
What is your refund policy?
BE A LOCAL HERO does not operate an official refund policy and we leave it up to the individual businesses to make a decision on this. Our voucher management supports refunds and Stripe can process refunds (less the transaction fee)
Please check the T&Cs for each business before purchasing a voucher and take up any requests directly with the business owner
I am a customer
How do I buy a voucher?
The process is really simple and you can buy vouchers from multiple businesses in one go!
- Find the business or businesses that you would like to support on the Explore your Community page
- Visit their store > Read their T&Cs > Select the voucher > Choose a value > Add to cart
- Follow our simple check out process and pay with your card. This goes directly to your chosen business thanks to Stripe Connect.
- Your unique voucher(s) will be attached to your confirmation email as a PDF
How do I redeem my voucher?
You can redeem your voucher in-store when the business reopens after the lockdown. Although the general process is likely to be similar for every business, please take a look at the business’s T&Cs as they may have certain preferences, promotions or exclusions.
- Bring a copy of your voucher in store. A digital copy is fine, let’s save those trees!
- The business will scan your QR code and retrieve the voucher details
- You can either fully redeem the voucher or partially redeem it on multiple occasions
The voucher will expire 365 days after purchase or 6 months after the lockdown has ended, whichever is longest.
Does the business get 100% of my money?
Unfortunately not. Although we do not take any commission, all transactions in the real world have a small processing fee associated with them. We have chosen Stripe as our payment processor, who charge the following fees:
- 1.4% and £0.20 for European cards
- 2.9% and £0.20 for Non-European cards.
For example, when a £20 voucher is purchased using a European card, the business will receive £19.52. For a full overview on Stripes fees please follow this link
What happens if the business doesn’t reopen?
Our mission is to try and support as many independent businesses as possible during this lockdown. That said, we recognise that these are extraordinary times and unfortunately some businesses may be unable to reopen.
If this does happen, it will be up to the administrators to decide whether to honour the vouchers. You will also be unable to seek a refund or replacement via BE A LOCAL HERO. Please only purchase a voucher if you are comfortable accepting this risk.
Please read Paragraph 1.3 in Section B of our Terms and Conditions for all specific information relating to voucher redemption.
Do I need an account to buy a voucher?
No. We support guest checkout and this will not affect your voucher redemption process. That said, if you would like to leave a business a review, or re-download a voucher, you will need an account.
I own a business
What businesses are eligible?
As long as you’re independent, you’re eligible for our site.
We welcome businesses from all different sectors so please sign up and help us grow our community.
What does registration involve?
Our registration process is very simple and you should be able to create an engaging profile in 30-40 minutes. Our setup wizard will guide you through the process, but keep reading if you want some spoilers. The main aspects of registering are listed below:
- Provide general information about your business – (Name, Address, Contact Details etc.)
- Upload a banner photo and a profile picture – (Make your profile stand out)
- Update your biography – (Tell us what makes your business so special)
- Select the location of your business on our map – (Allow customers to find your business when searching their local community)
- Connect your Stripe account or create an account – (This will allow you to take payment from customers)
- State your voucher preferences – (As default, we will assign you vouchers worth £10, £20, £50 & £100. If you would like different denominations, you can tell us during the registration process)
- Write your terms and conditions – (Do you have any promotions or restrictions on the items the vouchers will be valid for)
- Verify your identity – (So that we know you are the real owner of the business)
Following this, we will assign you with your vouchers and you will be up and running in no time!
How does your voucher management system work?
When a customer purchases a voucher from your profile, they receive an email containing a voucher with a unique alphanumeric code and a QR code. You also receive an email notifying you of this purchase.
On your BE A LOCAL HERO account, you can view a list that contains the details of all the vouchers purchased from your business. This list can be exported to Excel, or as a PDF. You can also see a summary of your page views, order history and earnings with respect to time.
When a customer wants to redeem their voucher, simply scan the QR code using a mobile phone camera. Some phones have a QR scanner built into them, otherwise there are lots of free Apps that you can download. After scanning the QR code, you will be redirected to a login page, where you will be asked to log into your BE A LOCAL HERO Account. You will only need to login on each phone once as it will remember your details. Alternatively you can search for the voucher from your BE A LOCAL HERO dashboard, using the unique alphanumeric code. Please note that you will need internet connection for both of these methods to work.
If the voucher is associated with your business, you will be able to view all the information associated with that voucher. You can fully, or partially, redeem the voucher and this will automatically update the remaining balance of the voucher. There is no limit to the number of times a voucher can be partially redeemed. If the voucher has expired, or the balance is zero, it will inform you.
If you have no internet connection at your business, we recommend that you export a list of all voucher codes and cross them off as they are redeemed.
How should I account for voucher sales?
In terms of accounting for the sale, different businesses use different methods, and we recommend you opt for a methodology that best fits with your current processes.
Some businesses record the sale in their POS terminal, and choose a payment type of gift card/voucher rather than cash or credit card. This works well well when your POS system is also keeping track of stock.
Other businesses will note the sale when the voucher is purchased via our site. If you are VAT registered, you may initially record voucher purchase as a deposit with no associated VAT and only account as a sale when the voucher is redeemed, against the correct VAT codes, or if the voucher expires.
We recommend that you consult with an accountant if you have not used vouchers before.