Whether they're donating supplies for personal protective equipment or money for the state's COVID-19 relief fund, Colorado marijuana businesses have demonstrated that they're part of the community. But how is a tech firm that specializes in online menu services and loyalty programs for pot shops supposed to help during a pandemic?
For Denver-based Leafbuyer, it's about sticking to what you know. The dispensary menu and coupon service is offering help to small businesses in five cities (two of them in Colorado) whose operations have been severely impacted by COVID-19, offering its customer loyalty technologies for free to 500 small businesses in the food and service industries.
According to Leafbuyer, the businesses will have access to platforms that provide text-messaging and email services for delivery and promotion announcements for customers, as well as a loyalty rewards program. For some businesses trying to transition to new curbside services or reopen after closing for over a month, communicating information to customers can be an early challenge during a comeback.
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Fast-changing regulations surrounding the retail process, government stimulus payments and the recent 4/20 holiday have combined for a unique roller coaster ride over the past six weeks. Leafbuyer CEO Kurt Rossner believes the marijuana industry has been luckier than most, however, especially the food and service sectors.
"We feel fortunate that some parts of the cannabis industry haven't been hit as hard as the other businesses we count on each day. These local businesses are our neighbors, our friends," he says. "We want to represent the cannabis industry in Colorado and across the nation as responsible, compassionate citizens."
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Businesses operating in Colorado Springs, Denver, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Los Angeles are eligible on a first-come, first-served basis for the free services, which will be tailored for non-marijuana businesses. Around $750,000 worth of services will be provided during the initiative, the company says.