Supporting Local Businesses via Crowdfunding

In my neighborhood, there is a new huge pharmacy being built in place of an old Chinese restaurant, which doesn’t make sense because there are already two other pharmacies and a supermarket on the street and caters for our needs.  I have a problem with this.

I love small businesses and people who create things and sell them to the community.  I think helping to promote small businesses and keeping the community running in its own ecosystem is such a unique thing and makes the best neighborhoods in the US, but more and more big businesses are changing this.

I want to create a process that allows small companies staying in business with community support.  The idea centers on a similar process to KickStarter, where it allows individuals to contribute funds to an idea or project to help gets made.  This research investigates the idea of helping existing businesses to grow and stay local with all the big business competition driving into all neighborhoods.

The community benefit of local independent stores is huge.  It allows your neighborhood and community to be tighter linked together so you as a shopper can promote locally made products and services.  A recent study found that there is a 39% difference between independent retailers and Nation Chains in the local re-circulation of money into the community.  This is a big advantage for the local community and fostering locally owned businesses and recycling the money among their neighbors.

I also think there is an opportunity for the community and technology help drive local businesses.  It works in a Kickstarter style way where local consumers and community members can contribute funds to an existing local business and return for a slice of the business.  Kickstarter and other crowd funding sites are focused on getting new businesses off the group and running, but as a community we neglect the existing businesses in neighborhood and often they go out of business because they have greater competition from larger brick and mortar businesses.   Imagine an environment and platform where we can easily support our local businesses and recycle money back into the community.


The end of Swipe?

The ease of POS purchasing via swipe maybe finished in the US.  With over 40 Million credit cards stolen in recent days, the ability to ensure a transactions is fully secure, has to be the highest priority for all businesses. In Europe, 99% of Credit Cards have a chip embedded into the card to enable a Chip & Pin transaction which prevents the likelihood of fraudulent transactions.  This is worked successfully for many years, with issuing banks and acquirers seeing the focus towards fraud move online. The logistics of small and large businesses changing their current point of sale devices with pure Chip & Pin devices is pretty outlandish, so I think  the trend will move towards Chip & Pin in the future, but for now, the risk is still there


No more Cash – https://square.com/cash

Credit Card

Credit Card (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

Square cash is so easy.  All other competitors are trying to solve the complex security login issue, but square cash make it so easy to enter an email in and thats it.

I think the person-to-person money market is massive, but some people just don’t trust it and wont enter their credit card into the app.

The only problem with square cash is that it can’t be scaled internationally.  Credit Cards and Debit Cards aren’t as widely used in European counties as within the United States.  The solution for this is MoneyMates.net




ARTIC – POS counter stand

Introducing the new POS counter Stand

FocusNorth is proud to introduce the new ARTIC Counter Stand for the European Shuttle POS Device.

The ARCTIC Counter Stand is the perfect solution for a mobile counter-top Point of Sale set-up for any small to medium business.

The secure stand allows the customer to insert his/her credit card into the payment device easily and complete the payment on the spot

The light weight holder enables the merchant to display and maneuver the payment terminal (iPad) easily for a better customer experience.

Working together, FocusNorth is dedicated to working closely with the merchant to ensure the best possible solution. This is a prototype, and the FocusNorth team want to work together to improve the product and get the best customer experience