Niantic has been open about its plans to support people and communities in the current global health climate. And now, local businesses are being added to the list of initiatives the company is working on helping.
In a project titled the Local Business Recovery Program, the company is asking its community to identify 1,000 local businesses that need help getting back on their feet and will offer those companies free advertising in the form of Pokémon Go integration.
The 1,000 selected businesses will have their location turned into a PokéStop or Gym within the in-game map. This will provide those businesses with increased foot traffic as players stop by to clear out the gym, compete in raids, or just spin the PokéStop for rewards.
“As it becomes safe to get together, businesses will be able to use our [Niantic’s] tools to run campaigns at their in-game location through activities like scheduled raid battles,” said civic and social impact senior manager Yennie Solheim. “As with all locations in our games, we will have basic business guidelines to insure the spot meets the appropriate PokéStop requirements.”
Obviously, this doesn’t guarantee that those players will actually go into the shop and spend money, but it will increase location awareness and drive repeat visits to the area that would have otherwise not factored into potential sales.
Initially, this offer will only be available in North America, Mexico, Japan, and the United Kingdom because those are the markets where Niantic can provide the best support structure for businesses.
More details on how players can nominate their local businesses and all of the guidelines involved with the Local Business Recovery Program can be found on Niantic’s official website.