TWO 23-year-old hospitality workers have launched a first of its kind website in the city which looks to keep independent businesses stay afloat throughout the coronavirus lockdown.

Fergus McGowan and Alisdair Ireland’s idea came about after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered all pubs, cafes and restaurants across the UK to close in an effort to slow the transmission of the virus.

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Over a few beers, the pair, who both work for a G1 venue within the city, decided to take matters into their own hands and came up with Safeguard Gift Card to help the city’s independent businesses.

Fergus, who is from Oban explained: “The lockdown could be devastating for independent cafes, bars and restaurants in Glasgow. As we both work in hospitality ourselves, we could see how quickly everything was going downhill.

“Everyone began to offer so much help so quickly and we felt somewhat helpless so we just thought, lets try to make something out of nothing and try help where we can.”

Fergus and Alisdair, who are recent Glasgow university graduates, have both been put on the government’s furlough scheme as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.

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The pair launched the zero-profit website with an initial, one off payment of just £10.

Safeguard Safe Card now provides a platform for Glasgow customers to buy gift vouchers directly from a business of their choice.

Fergus added: “We’ve organised the site so as you can click on the venue you’d like to buy vouchers for and the option to do so comes up straight away.

“Sometimes, trying to find this option on a website can take time or be hard to hunt it down so we’ve just made that job a whole lot easier.

“The link directs the customer straight to the website. It’s simple, direct and really easy to use.”

The site, which features restaurants including Ganfolfi, Embargo and Church on the Hill is completely free of use for both customers and businesses.

Fergus said: “We don’t take a single fee from the website on either side. It cost us a tenner to set up the site but that was it really.

“We see it as doing our small part in a larger national effort.

"If it means that only three or four people buy £60 to £100 worth of vouchers, that’s still worth it in the end.

"Let's help flatten the curve for businesses."

Safeguard Gift Card can be found at

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