A not-for-profit initiative has been set up to support local businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

SOS Cafe has been set up by experienced senior executive, David Downs, merchant success manager at Shopify Plus, Joyce Quah, and support frontend developer at Shopify Plus, Naadei Atafu, to help local businesses sell gift cards that customers can redeem later.

“Like everyone, we felt shocked and a bit helpless when it was announced that New Zealand would go into level 4 lockdown, and thought about the hundreds of cafés, small businesses etc who would suffer. Our local businesses add so much colour and culture to our suburbs, it’s now our turn to give back,” explained the co-founders.

“We whipped up this website that will allow cafés who don’t have the ability to take vouchers a way to do that, and to link to those that can. Many customers are loyal to their local coffee shop or restaurant/bar, and want to help. Now they can – if they used to buy a coffee and a muffin every day, they can now buy a voucher every day instead and give these café’s a fighting chance.”

SOS Cafe is planning to expand its categories to help more local businesses.

To find out more about SOS Cafe visit