Airbnb launches host-led Jozibucks initiative to help local SMEs

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The local tourism and small business industries have been hit harder than most during the COVID-19 pandemic and while lockdown restrictions have been eased of late, South African SMEs still need a helping hand to either keep afloat or jumpstart their operations again. With this in mind, Airbnb has launched a new local host-led initiative called Support Jozi, Shop Local.

This new initiative also leverages the contactless payments capabilities of SnapScan, which is a partner on the project.

Using the SnapScan app, Airbnb explains that locals and visitors alike can purchase goods and services from more than 20 Johannesburg-based businesses, chosen and recommended by local hosts on the Airbnb platform. People using SnapScan at these locations will also earn cashback vouchers called ‘Jozibucks’, which are funded by Airbnb and can then be ‘spent’ in the shops throughout March.

Some of the highlighted Jozi businesses, also found on the map below, include coffee shops, eateries, hair salons and other interesting venues, such The Bioscope and Salvation Cafe in Millpark, Home of the Bean in Jeppestown (pictured in header image), Victoria Yards in Lorentzville and Wild Hair in Parkhurst.

“Airbnb’s community is known for its passion for spending and supporting local small businesses, and as many guests on Airbnb will know, it’s often their hosts who have the best local recommendations. Initiatives like this help drive local recovery in South Africa, while providing an economic lifeline for local families, small businesses and communities,” notes Velma Corcoran, Middle East and Africa Regional lead for Airbnb, regarding this new initiative.

“We know local businesses are struggling right now, so together with local Hosts, we want to highlight them and give them the praise they deserve, and encourage everyone to support their community, and shop local,” she adds.

For now, it remains to be seen whether Airbnb will spread the initiative to other parts of the country, or indeed will look to extend its duration. Regardless it is pleasing to se that more is being done to help local SMEs during a particularly tough period.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.