fbpx

Supporting Today, Gathering Later

As an emergency management consultant, Lauren Linville has seen firsthand how catastrophic events hurt communities. And as the daughter of small business owners, she’s seen how these events hurt local economies.

So when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most South Florida businesses, Linville encouraged everyone she knew to order from local businesses and buy gift cards from them.

“Small businesses are the heartbeat of the communities,” the Coconut Creek resident says. “They are the ones that are out there sponsoring Little League, hosting nonprofits and events, creating gift baskets or things to put in gift baskets. They have always supported us. It’s our turn to support them.”

But in asking others to support business, Linville realized that it would be easier for locals to have a centralized resource to turn to.

“Everyone is building Facebook pages,” Linville says, “but people are posting in different areas and not everything is being shared with everybody.”

She turned to friend Robin Verse, marketing professional from Boca Raton, to see how they could build this resource together. In the following weeks, they built Gather Later, a website connecting patrons to local businesses to buy gift cards and see current promotions. Verse built the design components and her husband did the coding and developing. They built it side-by-side—while working full-time from home.

“The idea behind it for us was that if we could help make one more light bill or one more paycheck and keep them afloat during this time, that’s something that that we’d love to be able to contribute to,” Verse says.

To be included, small business owners can sign up for approval to be featured (Linville and Verse are approving each business individually) and even include their current promotions. When users search for businesses, they are taken straight to the business websites. Gather Later’s cost-free model demonstrates Linville and Verse’s goals to support businesses.

“A couple folks that I’ve been talking to [say], ‘I wanted to put this on [similar sites], but there was a fee to sign up, or they’re going to take a percentage of whatever consumers bought,’” Linville says. “I just thought that’s so wrong during this time. This is about coming together and helping one another out and supporting each other. We don’t need to burden these small businesses right now. We need to help them.”

Linville and Verse are growing Gather Later, which went live earlier this week, by calling local businesses. Though they’re starting with the Coconut Creek and Coral Springs areas, there’s room to grow in the future.

“This is definitely a fluid, changing site,” Verse says. “As we get reactions from consumers and businesses, we’re constantly adjusting. We initially started out with just Broward County and then we got a lot of feedback outside of Broward County, saying, ‘I’d love to sign up to the site.’ … So we’ve opened it up for all of Florida, but we’re really looking at the South Florida tri-county area because we’ve got connections here … and then we can expand.”

Visit Gather Later here.

 

Pictured above: Lauren Linville and Robin Verse

 

You May Also Like

Vinya Wine to Celebrate National No Phone Day With Miami’s Top Restaurants

Wanting restaurant guests to enjoy their meal and camaraderie with friends and family, Vinya Wine is spearheading an initiative to encourage patrons to enjoy a sip of wine with friends or family on National No Phone Day. Organized by Allegra Angelo, Vinya Wine partner and sommelier, Tuesday, April 18 has been declared No Phone Day,

W Hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach to Host Post Tortuga Party

The Tortuga Music Festival on Fort Lauderdale Beach will bring thousands of concertgoers to the area for a weekend of live musical entertainment. The popular event is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with headliners Eric Church (Friday), Shania Twain (Saturday) and Kenny Chesney (Sunday), each performing for more than 25,000 fans. However, the party

Paws Enchanted Masquerade Ball to Benefit the Humane Society of Broward County

The annual PAWS Gala benefiting the Humane Society of Broward County occurs at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale. This year’s theme is the “Enchanted Masquerade Ball,” presented by Spirit Airlines. Chairwomen Alyse Lemstrom and Sheryl Maher and their committee have organized the event with proceeds

Dan Marino Foundation Celebrates Autism Acceptance and Awareness Month

The Dan Marino Foundation in Fort Lauderdale will celebrate the autism community with various initiatives and events during Autism Acceptance & Awareness Month throughout April. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to improving the lives of children, teens, and adults with autism. When Dan and Claire Marino created the nonprofit in 1992, the prevalence of autism

Other Posts

Visit Lauderdale Celebrates Broward’s Cultural Diversity

Did you know Broward County is home to a rich, vibrant tapestry of cultures, with people from more than 170 countries speaking 147 languages living here? This dynamic array of diversity is not only prevalent in every corridor of the county — it’s proudly celebrated in the attractions, festivals, and food the destination offers. And

Jack & Jill Center to Host Team Pouncey Bowl for Change Fundraiser

Jack & Jill Center’s Young Professionals Network will host its annual charity bowling tournament from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, at Manor Lanes in Fort Lauderdale. The Team Pouncey Bowl for Change community event will feature a day of bowling, a live DJ, arcade games, a raffle, a full bar and

Gutenburg Burger Opens at Time Out Market Miami

Gutenburg Burger, a German-American burger concept, recently debuted at Time Out Market Miami, home to chef-inspired events, arts and culture, and live entertainment. Chef Jorge Kauam launched the eatery to honor Germany’s history of high-quality beef and highlight the hamburger’s proclaimed roots in his new menu.  “Our buns are a mix of a brioche and potato

Gulfstream Park Village’s Free Cone Day Returns Next Month

Gulfstream Park Village’s popular Free Cone Day will return on Wednesday, May 17 at Häagen-Dazs. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., guests are invited to enjoy one free mini cone or cup with the ice cream flavor of their choice. Additionally, Gulfstream Park Village Center will transform into a family-friendly village carnival with free entertainment