YourEly is now live!

YourEly is now live – and it looks amazing!

I enjoy shopping, but I also love a bargain. So I am one of the 2,000 community members who signed up to YourEly to be updated about promotions and special offers right on my doorstep.

While working with Caroline Bailey to promote her innovative concept, that of having a single social media platform to promote local businesses among its community, for them to interact and engage with their customers, I was struck by the genuine love she feels for Ely, the reason she launched this initiative, taking out a bank loan to make it happen.

Our lovely MP Sir James Paice joined guests for today’s launch party and, and while admitting he has little knowledge himself about Twitter and Facebook, he recognises that they have a role to play for business today.

“It’s very easy to complain about what is happening to our high streets, but they have evolved, they have changed in my life time and they will go on changing. Clearly the advent of the internet and internet business is going to make them change and put them under considerable strain.

“Those businesses that have subscribed, and many more waiting to see how YourEly settles down before biting the bullet, I think they are recognizing that they have to change, and that has to be good.

“I can’t foresee what is going to happen to our high street in the next two or three decades, but it is quite clear to me that if the businesses in them don’t respond to these changes, then they will find life harder and harder.”

Caroline points out that YourEly is much more than a business listings directory.

“I carried out vast research within the community which showed that the majority did not want a discount or random business listing forum. They were uninspired by directories and business listings. They wanted a forum that would showcase the best of what Ely has to offer and the diversity of all of our unique businesses.

“The business listings that exist display businesses, but lack community following, thus making them ineffective. They lack this community following because the community wants a forum that is interactive. They want to know who runs their local business, to make that connection, to be told about what they business has to offer in a creative way.”

She praised founding businesses, the trailblazers for placing their trust in her before the website was even launched, including estate agent David Clark. He told the launch party:

“I bought in straight away thinking it was a really good idea. We are a local estate agent and firm believers that our business is about people, not about property.

“We see YourEly as a link to the community, people who may not necessarily be thinking anything about moving house or anything property related could well be looking at that and suddenly find us there and find a route to us that otherwise they  wouldn’t have done. We bought in because we think it will be a success.”

Let’s hope other Ely businesses share the same vision. And thank you also to visionary Coun Tom Kerby,  Chairman of East Cambridgeshire District Council Town Centres Working Party, who described YourEly as “a very exciting new concept” which could  be of considerable value as the city continues to expand.

He said: “I hope YourEly succeeds and all those involved with it.”

Hear, hear!!!