Free e-shop for businesses destroyed by Camden fire

And not for the reasons you might think. The fire affected some 90 traders, but reports that Camden has been “devastated” by the fire have scuppered surviving shops, by discouraging tourists from visiting the area.

Amenworld, the internet hosting company, has stepped up to the plate. As part of their “Support independent online shops” campaign, they’ve offered free e-shops to market traders to boost sales while footfall is down.

Up to 300,000 visitors typically visit Camden market on the weekends. This figure dropped substantially following the blaze. The £150 package includes a domain name, email and hosting, and it’s available, for free, to any small business based in the market.

“When we found out about the fire, I just thought, ‘Jesus. These guys are on their knees’,” says Andrew Fassnidge, product manager at Amenworld “I approached Camden Council and Camden Market Holdings to offer them this online option while their shops are down.”

But is this a genuine act of altruism, or are there hidden costs for SMEs? “It’s completely free,” says Fassnidge. “I didn’t want to offer some “six months free” package, because all our contracts last for a year and the traders would have to pay eventually. This is a gesture of goodwill.”

If you’re based in the stalls market, now’s your chance to take advantage of this offer. And if you’re not, here’s a good example of marketing that works. Ask not what your customer can do for you, but what you can do for your customer.

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