Earlier this summer Niantic announced their Local Business Recovery Initiative for Pokemon GO, and now there are over 38,000 small businesses that were submitted by players to join the program. Of those submitted businesses, 1,000 of them from 5 countries were chosen to become part of the program. The businesses can be found in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K., and Japan.
“Niantic’s Local Business Recovery Initiative is designed to spotlight many local businesses beloved by players and which have been negatively impacted by the global pandemic,” said Carla Li, Niantic’s senior product manager for sponsorships. “Becoming a sponsored location will drive awareness and aid in the recovery of both the businesses and the communities which they serve.”
The sponsored locations will become either a PokeStop or a Gym in Pokemon GO, which will then drive foot traffic to the locations. In the future these businesses can also run promotional campaigns that will reach nearby players, and also take part in other in-game events and other new features.
Here are four of the 1,000 businesses that are now in-game:
F.M. Light & Sons, a family-owned Western wear and apparel store in Steamboat Springs, Colorado that’s been operating since 1905.
CIBER LEKAR, a game and hobby shop in Guanajuato, Mexico owned by a husband and wife team who are very involved with the local Pokémon GO community.
Blitzkrieg Chop, an inclusive hair shop in Worthing, West Sussex U.K. that serves the local alt, punk and nerd communities by hosting Pokémon GO community days, art pop-ups and offers free head-shavings for charity.
Five Girls Baking, a family-run bakery and cafe in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada that’s been supporting its community during the pandemic with free bread for those in need.
If you want to read Niantic's blog post on this initiative, be sure to go here.
What do you think of this news? Do you think that this is a good idea? Do you still play Pokemon GO? Let us know in the comments!