SWICH is a new Yelp-like startup that seeks to help people find and support businesses that share their values.
The new platform is different from other review sites because it provides users with scores to indicate the effect businesses have on the health, environment, workers and economies of their local communities.
SWICH uses a combination of data from third party partners and crowdsourced information to score local businesses. Those with higher SWICH scores will be the ones to “swich” to.
“We created SWICH because one of the most effective ways to improve our communities and our own lives is with the money we spend everyday,” Gerald Mitchell, founder of SWICH, said in a release. “In addition to demanding quality, consumers are increasingly searching for socially responsible options when it comes to where they shop. Up until now, finding these better businesses was overwhelming. SWICH makes it simple and easy.”
SWICH has been in development since early last year, leading up to its March 26 beta launch in New York City, with an initial focus on restaurants. The company's app is currently available for Android and will be released on iOS platforms in the next month.
“I used to invest in small, socially responsible businesses, yet, as a consumer, I couldn’t track them down easily,” said Mitchell. “I realized there was a real need and now my goal is to help these better businesses be recognized for their efforts to do business the right way in the form of more customers.”
Some possible benefits, Mitchell said: If each American were to “swich” to eating at better restaurants one time per week, each person would lose 2 pounds and save $450 in out of pocket health care costs per year.