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Pokemon GO is Helping 1,000 Small Businesses During the Pandemic With Launch of Recovery Initiative

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Niantic has officially kicked off its recovery iniative for small businesses with Pokemon GO sponsorships.

Given the severity of the COVID-19 around the world and the impact that it has had economically, small locally-owned businesses have especially felt the impact of the pandemic over the past several months. In an effort to assist small businesses during the pandemic, Niantic and Pokemon GO have launched their Local Business Recovery Initiative to support 1,000 small businesses in a variety of countries.

In a blog post on their official website, Niantic officially announced that it has launched its Local Business Recovery Initiative to help support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Announced earlier this year, the initiative detailed that Pokemon GO players could nominate their favorite local and small businesses–such as cafes, restaurants, bookstores, and more–to become sponsored in-game locations in Pokemon GO for one year, providing the businesses with free promotion and foot traffic from players.

According to Niantic, over 38,000 small and local businesses were nominated by players in the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, and Japan, with Niantic having narrowed down its nominees to the participating 1,000 businesses spread across those 5 countries. In a statement, Niantic senior product manager Carla Li explained that the initiative is “designed to spotlight many local businesses beloved by players and which have been negatively impacted by the global pandemic.” Additionally, Li explained that for the businesses chosen by Niantic, “becoming a sponsored location will drive awareness and aid in the recovery of both the businesses and the communities which they serve.”

Pokemon GO has been a game that has had to adapt rapidly to the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as shifting its annual GO Fest to a completely virtual setting for the first time ever, and making changes in-game to accommodate social distancing and avoiding large gatherings. However, the Local Business Recovery Initiative is one part of Niantic’s commitment to using the platform of Pokemon GO to help out both its communities and its player in uncertain times.

Pokemon GO is available now on iOS and Android.

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Ryan Meitzler

Ryan is the Editor-in-Chief at DualShockers and has been a lover of games as long as he can remember. He holds a BA in English and Cinema and lives in New York City.

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