Lean on me is an initiative devised by us, a group of local volunteers, to help local businesses that mean a lot to us. We use smart technology and a simple idea. But it relies on everyone else to come on board to work really well. We want to connect up every person who feels that they can share even small amounts of cash now with their favourite business to that business. By paying now for a voucher to be used in the future the business gets immediate cash to pay for the bills which keep arriving in the post while their income has disappeared. Together we are stronger.  We rely on these businesses in good times. We are asking them to lean on us now to get through this difficult time.

Now is your turn – Use our portal to reach out to your favourite business and tell them simply “Lean on Me”

FAQs

Why should I participate?

We imagine that like us, if you are reading this, you would like to help struggling businesses to get through the shut-down. They are closed for all of our protection and with little warning. We want to have those businesses around when things return to normal.

For many local businesses, even though they are not selling anything and getting money, many of the monthly bills still continue. They can quickly run out of cash and will have to close perhaps for good and disappear.

This idea is to allow us all to help those businesses by prepaying for goods or services from our favourite shop by paying them now for a voucher which we can use in the future or which we can give to a friend or family. This initiative will keep some well needed income coming in for the business to pay monthly bills and hopefully helps them live through the shutdown.

What is different about this idea?

Many of us buy vouchers, especially at Christmas, or on special occasions for friends or family, but mostly by turning up in the shop in person. With shops closed, this is no longer possible. When we talked to the traders, what we discovered is many businesses while closed have no system to issue vouchers and especially not to take payment safely over the internet.

Our idea is to use technology to allow businesses to sign up to be part of the idea, to allow people who want to help them to reach out by finding them on the list, to send them a payment for a future purchase and for the business to issue the hugely appreciated credit voucher whenever they are back in operation.

How do I pick a business to help?

Most of us have favourite shops or people who provide us with services through the year. Our butcher, our hairstylist, gardener, local restaurant or coffee shop or even a bookshop or favourite clothes boutique.

Because shops are closed it is more difficult to know what products they sell so we expect that people will pick businesses where they are already well known or which operate in their own local community. For some of these you may not be able to travel to them even if they are open on a restricted basis.

Our list is mainly for small independent shops which are such valuable part of our community. We see larger groups with their own finance functions and strong banking relationships are better able to look after themselves in this crisis. If you do have a favourite business which is not on the list, please ask them to contact us to register them, if that is appropriate.

When does the business get my payment?

When your credit/debit card approves the payment, it will be processed by Stripe and the funds should be with your selected business within 7-14 days.

Which payment method?

We can only accept payment through the Stripe payment engine built into our website. Please do not send cash or cheques or other forms of payment to our address.

How do I collect the voucher?

For each voucher which you wish to purchase, you will have to pick a specific trader. They cannot be spent with other traders on our list.

As most of the businesses are closed, you will need to wait until the trader you selected reopens to go there to complete your purchase or to have a voucher issued.

In the meantime, we will issue you with a form of electronic coupon which can then be given to the shop and redeemed for a voucher of the same amount when the time comes to collect your voucher and the trader is open again for business.

The relevant business will receive a notification of transaction showing that you have paid and may ask you for the unique transaction ID or to provide the credit/debit card used for payment.

What are the terms of the voucher?

The voucher for your payment will be issued by the shop (not by Lean On Me) and so might be subject to special terms or offers which the business operates. However, even though this is a special scheme, all of the traders are in agreement that their vouchers will benefit from the protections of the Consumer Protection (Gift Vouchers) Act 2019.

It is important to note that the contract is between you and the trader. You will not be receiving a voucher from Lean On Me or any other member of our team. Our role is to be able to help the processing of your payment and its transfer to the trader and keep a safe record of the people who bought each voucher for each trader.

The electronic receipt we issue will not be a gift voucher under the terms of the 2019 Act. It is therefore personal to you and you need to exchange it for a voucher before giving anything to someone else as a gift. Importantly, you should note that our coupon will have a time limit of a couple of months because while we hope the shop will remain open for years to come, Lean on Me will hopefully no longer be required a short time after the restrictions are lifted.

When can I collect the voucher?

Most of the businesses have asked that you provide them with a week or two once the restrictions are lifted before visiting to allow them time to get the business well on the road again. As you are likely to have picked businesses you know already, you may wish to contact them in advance especially if they are open on a restricted basis. They may offer to send you the voucher in advance of reopening, especially if you want to give it as a gift to someone else.

The businesses have committed to us to continue to honour our coupons and issue all vouchers claimed within the period of 6 months after the lifting of travel restrictions and/or opening restrictions for that business by the Government. We also have agreed to keep our website running and store the related records for this 6 month period. As this is a volunteer team set up for the crisis, we ask that you please present the claim for the voucher early in this period so that we can also be sure that all queries are answered before we have to shut down our files and website.

How secure are the payments?

When you pay for one of our coupons, it is not 100% guaranteed. You and Lean on Me cannot be sure that the business you choose will succeed in weathering the COVID story and reopen to be able to issue a voucher for that coupon. If the business fails before you collect or use your voucher, the owner of the business is unlikely to be able to give you value for your money. This is a risk that you must take in this show of solidarity for the business and there is no protection against it.

What happens after paying? Do I receive a receipt?

When you make the payment on the Stripe system you will receive an email confirming that you have made the payment and indicating to which business you would like the money transferred. This is essentially an electronic coupon.

You should hold onto these confirmations and coupons as they, and ID, might be required by a business who may not know you personally in order to issue your voucher(s).

So, when you get your voucher, please mind it safely as there is no guarantee it can be re-issued in case of loss or damage.

Can I purchase more than one voucher for the same business?

Yes, you can make repeated purchases for the same business if you so wish. For each purchase, we will issue you with a form of electronic coupon which can then be presented to the shop and redeemed for a voucher of the same amount when the time comes to collect your voucher and the trader is open again for business.

Can I purchase vouchers for more than one participating business?

Yes, you can purchase vouchers for as many participating businesses you so wish.  For each purchase , we will issue you with a form of electronic coupon which can then be presented to the shop and redeemed for a voucher of the same amount when the time comes to collect your voucher and the trader is open again for business.

If there is a local business I would like to support but not registered on ‘Lean on me’ website, how can I support them?

Get in touch with your local business and ask them to register on www.leanonme.eu and follow the simple online registration instructions. Once they are registered on the website you can pledge your support by purchasing a nominated voucher.

Are Lean On Me regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland?

DISCLOSURE: The services and activities provided by Inline Events Limited t/a Lean On Me are unregulated and merely provide technological and administrative assistance to businesses and its customers during the COVID 19 crisis on a strictly not for profit basis using Payment Processing Partners to facilitate same.

Once I have paid for my voucher, how will I know my online transaction is complete?

You should have received an email confirmation of your order and an SMS. If you did not receive this, please email info@leanonme.eu and we will have the confirmation resend to you. 

You can also view your Orders, in the My Account section of the site, if you were logged in when you placed the order. If you ordered as a Guest and have since registered, send us an email to info@leanonme.eu and we can assign the order to your account.

What if I have an issue with a voucher/ purchase

Leanonme.eu is simply putting a connection in place between customers and businesses. If you make us aware of any issues we can only simply put you in touch with the Business (if you do not have contact details yourself) as they will have received the funds directly.

IMPORTANT REMINDER

No matter how much we try to protect you and minimize them, there remain risks involved in helping businesses through the Lean on Me portal. The business you like might not survive the crisis even if you help and so you will not be able to recover a voucher for your money or get a refund. Also, while we have tried to confirm the identity and reputation of each business by allowing only local businesses personally known to someone we know or have reason to trust to come on the platform and by asking for a bank statement of the business, identity theft is a feature of the world we live in. In the world, there are some dishonest people who will try and take advantage of a crisis so please be vigilant in protecting yourself and in how you select the businesses you want to help. Make sure you believe they will be there to issue and honour the voucher and ABOVE ALL only spend an amount of cash which you would be comfortable you could lose if the business were not to survive.

Also, for anyone dishonest thinking of using the scheme to launder the proceeds of crime, we have a limit of 200 euros on each voucher and we will be watching vigilantly for suspicious transactions or multiple purchases suggesting you are trying to do money laundering which we will immediately report to the Garda Siochana, who are aware of our project already.

Steering Group

John Moran
#LiveableLimerick

Chair of #LiveableLimerick and CEO of RHH International

Joe Brooks
Volunteer

Limerick local supporting independent traders,

Will Ryan
Limerick Post

Managing Director of LIMERICK POST NEWSPAPER

Miriam O'Connor
Partner at Sellors Solicitors

Board Member of Limerick Chamber of Commerce and proud supporter of business in Limerick.

Seanie Ryan
MD at Elive.ie

Managing Director of ELIVE Web Hosting and eCommerce Providers for over 20 years in Limerick.

Sean Golden

Seán Golden
Economist

Seán Golden is an economist with a wealth of experience across the public and private sector.