Pokemon Go Dev Announces Program To Help Small Businesses Affected By The Coronavirus

In an effort to aid small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Pokemon Go developer Niantic has announced a local business recovery initiative, which will give players a chance to nominate an important local business to spotlight within the game.

Beginning today, June 15, Pokemon Go players will be able to fill out a form to nominate a business that is “local and small in nature” for the program. As part of the nomination process, players will be asked to describe what it is about that particular business that means so much to them, and how that business impacts the community as a whole.

1,000 businesses that are nominated by players will receive free promotion in Pokemon Go for a year and other benefits. Businesses that are selected will appear in the game as a Poke Stop or Gym. As the business begin to reopen, they’ll also be able to use Niantic’s location-based tools to run campaigns and initiate community engagement. “For example, a local restaurant or favorite bookstore can use the recovery initiative to build awareness of their business and product offerings,” Niantic said.

Nominations will close on July 31, and Niantic hopes to begin onboarding the local businesses “as early as September.” The program is open to businesses in the United States, Japan, the UK, Canada, and Mexico, as Niantic says those are the regions in which it can “provide the best support structure.”

In other Pokemon Go news, Niantic revealed more details about the upcoming Pokemon Go Fest event. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual event will be a global virtual experience this year, and it’ll introduce a new Mythical Pokemon and other new elements to the game, such as virtual habitats that will influence what types of Pokemon spawn. The event takes place July 25-26, and tickets are available to purchase from Pokemon Go’s in-game store for $15 USD.

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