20,000 people, 100 business, 1 app.

Powered by Colu, the digital wallet app supports independents whilst giving you 10% more for your money to spend at delis, dog groomers, bistros, bars and everything in between. The Local Pound community benefits not just spenders, but also the city by keeping more money in Liverpool’s economy. Research suggests that up to 65p of every pound spent at a local business stays within the community in comparison to 5-10p when spent in a chain or online. This is one of the reasons keeping it local is so important. Also, there’s great research to suggest that every time you support a local business they do a little happy dance.

So why use Colu? A few people have understood the benefits for them personally but worried what independent businesses get out of it. When you top up your wallet you personally get up to 10% more which gives you more money to spend supporting real local people like you and me. Not only that but it also becomes a way for small businesses to avoid large debit and credit card fees which can be a few percent of every card transaction. It might not sound like a lot but add up every day, every week and every month and at the end of the year that’s a lot of money in their back pocket. This turns into a stronger local economy and leads to more and more jobs.

So, how did Colu manage to become such a big part of the independent community in such a small space of time? The answer is that the thirst to support independents and the environment to own your independent has never been greater than right now. Alison Lockhett-Burke, owner of HUS and The Baltic Social recently put owning an independent into far more eloquent words than we ever could:

“So for anyone thinking of doing it – this business is hard, there’s long days and nights and you’ll probably never have a full night’s sleep again but it’s also a lot of fun, really rewarding and no day is the EVER the same. I think it’s the best job in the world.I’m also convinced that there’s no better city than Liverpool to be an independent business in right now… so if you have an idea, love it and are prepared to live it and breathe it then, yeah – go for it.”

Even recently Delifonseca hosted a hat trick of weddings and the common denominator was that all the couples paid with the Liverpool pound. The same couples hired items from local businesses Sugar and Lime, the beer and sundries where from Last Straw and the coffee was from Neighbourhood. Furthermore, there were wedding guests paying at the bar with Colu. How wonderful is that.

There’s now 20,000 people in Liverpool using the app and so far £300,000 has gone through the local economy. The milestones keep coming and the app shows no sign of stopping – the way we’re spending our money and who we are spending it with is truly changing. You can swap your local pounds for freakshakes, locally brewed pints, vegan junk food, art supplies and so much more. What are you waiting for? Download Colu on your Android or iPhone and enjoy spending your free 5 Local Pounds for registering and get up to 10% extra, every time you top up, and support your local community. Not bad this supporting local malarky is it?