A local’s shout out

Southbank resident and software entrepreneur Mark Murphy has turned his regular online ticketing service into a social enterprise project to support struggling live music and hospitality venues across Melbourne during COVID-19.

Until recently, the Kings Domain resident and his business partner had run a small event technology business that worked with some of Melbourne’s most renowned live music venues to provide online ticketing and marketing services.

As the impacts of COVID-19 took effect on the hospitality and creative industries in March, he said that many of his customers were some of the first businesses to shut their doors, resulting in influxes of refunds to ticket-holders.

However, he said that as they began reaching out to offer refunds, many customers had asked whether it was possible to donate or keep their ticket for a future event and from this goodwill, a new initiative was born.

Shout Your Local! is a “pay it forward” not-for-profit project helping Melbourne’s local restaurants, pubs, cafes and live music venues get through the COVID-19 lockdown.

Launching in April, businesses are able to sign up and sell gift vouchers to unlock cash flow today and future customers of tomorrow.

“Our clients are really heartened by it. They really care but they often don’t really know technology, everything is sort of under the hood at the point of sale at the venue so they’ve really appreciated the support,” Mark said.

With all voucher management and sales taken care of by the Shout Your Local! platform, which has partnered with payment service Stripe and voucher service GiftUp!, the system pays out to clients everyday while helping build their customer bases.

“We’re currently volunteering our time for this project but think Shout Your Local! could be a great opportunity for the right local business or corporate partners and welcome conversation with potential sponsors who are in a position to support this initiative,” Mark said.

For more information visit shoutyourlocal.com •

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