Virtual Neighbourhoods are rolling out across London to help people find out which small businesses are providing vital supplies during the coronavirus lockdown.
Area by area, the new website www.myvirtualneighbourhood.com highlights local businesses offering home delivery of essentials (and treats) - it’s proving to be a real lifeline to residents stuck at home and is generating much-needed trade for shops and restaurants fighting to survive.
The public is being urged to get behind it and send in details of businesses making self-isolation easier.
The site has been set up by the team behind the Local Buyers Club, which has been championing independent businesses for the past two years.
Founder Basil Fansa said: “COVID-19 has been heartbreaking for small businesses and, while many have been forced to close, others have found a way to adapt and offer new services that help people in their hour of need. My Virtual Neighbourhood is a celebration of that resilience and a call to the public to make the best of the amazing businesses on their doorsteps and to help them survive.
“Lockdown is an awful thing to endure, but the army of independent shops and restaurants offering to deliver hot meals, wine, fresh fish, cheese, meat, veg and pastries to your door will certainly make it more bearable.
“We constantly see images in the news of people queuing for big supermarkets, which can only increase infection rates. Small businesses are well stocked and they’re moving heaven and earth to bring supplies to you so you can stay home!”
Until now residents faced a lengthy trawl on social media and the internet to work out which businesses in their neighbourhoods were continuing to trade during the outbreak.