Glen Allen college student creates website to help restaurants harmed by COVID-19

Coronavirus

GLEN ALLEN, Va. (WRIC) — A Glen Allen college student is hoping to help local restaurants suffering financial hardships as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sudarshan Sridharan, CEO and co-founder of SaveMaps, short for ‘Save Mom and Pops,’ says the website is an avenue for customers to support local businesses. The non-profit website began as a way to help restaurants surrounding Clemson University, the alma mater of ‘SaveMaps’ creators.

“There are people giving their lives from just every single way,” Sridharan said. “And I can sit back, we can throw together a couple lines of code to try and alleviate some pain points. Might as well do that, and now it’s just taken a life of its own. It’s been an incredible opportunity.”

The website allows customers to buy gift cards with 100 percent of the money going straight to businesses — something Soul Taco co-owner Trey Owens says is phenomenal.

“To know that somebody else’s business is helping mine, it’s a rewarding feeling,” he said.

SaveMaps.Io has now spread to 18 states, 48 cities, and nearly 700 businesses in less than two months. The website has also had about $50,000 to $65,000 worth of payments processed. But how exactly does the website work?

“You’re just going to click on a restaurant, it will either redirect you to their own gift card site or you can buy it through us,” Sridharan said. “And then you’ll get an email with a gift card number. You go to the store, you show them the gift card number, and they’ll take it from there.”

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