Small and local businesses - eligible or not?


what do you usually do with nominations of local business (no big chains)? The pictures are usually great, good description and from my personal view it should be fine.

Thanks for your input!


  • LukeAllStars-PGOLukeAllStars-PGO Posts: 3,289 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If they are a local hotspot (with evidence), ill accept it. But thats rarely the case.

  • Maxyme99-PGOMaxyme99-PGO Posts: 483 ✭✭✭

    I'm guessing you're reviewing them not nomianting, yes?

    If you got them for review, can you gave us any example? If it's local restaurant that is nice local hotspot and is clearly good nomination, I would give it a 5*. If it's a local shop, barber or something like that, then it would really depends if I could let it pass - shop would be mostly rejected, other things might be nice to accept, but it really depends on place.

    For example: If it's old barber with long history of this place, and one of 2-3 barbers in this city, then it would ba 4*-5* for me. If it's another common barber from 50 other barbers in this city, without any history or interesting thing, then I would reject it. It really depends what you have in mind there :)

    And I could still accept murals on these really common and not that interesting buisness places (if they had one), but they could be nominated just as murals, not as buisness part, so I think it's another story, but I wanted to mention it :)

    It's only my opinion, other people mmight thinks different :)

  • Theisman-INGTheisman-ING Posts: 524 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Also bare in mind that even if it its a big chain it can still be important to the local community as a popular community gathering place.

    It is all location and situational dependant

    The example from Niantic was in the small town they were from the one coffee shop they did have was a chain one, but as it was the only one it was a community gathering place and local hyperspot.

    A big chain does not always equal bad submission and an instant reject

  • R7Angelica-PGOR7Angelica-PGO Posts: 11 ✭✭

    Based on the guidelines from Niantic businesses are eligible wayspot locations, provided it meets at least one of the eligibility requirements, promotes exercise, socialization, or exploration.

    If the submission has one of those as a component it gets at least a 2 star from me and depending on the other factors and how they are sold that score can go up.

    As @Theisman-ING indicated, just because it is a chain doesn't necessarily mean that its a rejection but you really need to sell it for that to happen. Locally owned businesses get a better rating from me as unique points of interest. For example I almost always will reject a Walmart. However if there was something unique about the Walmart, like an old fashioned kiddie ride out-front , or a clocktower was built into the architecture I might consider those separately.

    Local hole in the wall restaurants I tend to rate highly. I'm a foodie and love looking for these types of places. I consider those great places to explore and love to see pokestops at some place I might otherwise miss.

  • SeriousPhil29-PGOSeriousPhil29-PGO Posts: 7 ✭✭

    Cool, thanks a lot for the quick and helpful remarks!

  • R7Angelica-PGOR7Angelica-PGO Posts: 11 ✭✭
    edited March 9

    I find this disheartening that folks still have this view. As we start to emerge, hopefully soon, from the global pandemic, local businesses will need us more then ever. I think it is one of the reasons that Niantic updated their criteria to explicit include businesses as eligible wayspots. Many of these local business have given up the equivalent to an entire years salary to remain open through the last 12 months. As a community it would be great if we did our small part in helping bring light to these locations. I hope folks being to loosen the rigorous standards that they apply when reviewing a local barbershop, coffee house, or local restaurant. It will soon be time to get out and explore these locations again. Lets not create barriers where there shouldn't be any.

  • LukeAllStars-PGOLukeAllStars-PGO Posts: 3,289 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Niantic is sponsoring POIs to small local business in some countries. Of course local business need us now while/after the pandemic, but thats not a reason for eligibility. Otherwise, I got like a few thousand eligible small business in my city. The criteria isnt clear at all, but still there is some difference between eligible and ineligible businesses.

  • Oakes1923-PGOOakes1923-PGO Posts: 114 ✭✭✭

    If those few thousand local business promote exploration. socialization or exercise then they are eligible. Regardless of numbers. Folks creating artificial barriers for wayspots is just as bad as folks submitting fake nominations.

    If they are a local hotspot (with evidence), ill accept it. But that's rarely the case.

    I might have conceded the point if you said something like "that's not always the case" but I get the sense that the vast majority of these nominations get the boot from you regardless of supporting evidence. Some folks like to flex. 🏋️‍♀️

    If I'm off base let me know but all current evidence points to the contrary.

  • LukeAllStars-PGOLukeAllStars-PGO Posts: 3,289 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That "rare" was more in the submissions I reviewed. Most of them are like "Restaurant name" and "(e.g.) Italian Restaurant" as a description. And thats no efford.. If someone is really putting efford in his nomination, its alright. But thats rarely the case .

  • Theisman-INGTheisman-ING Posts: 524 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think you're doing @LukeAllStars-PGO a disservice.

    I'd love to approve more local businesses but the majority of the submissions for them tend to be total garbage.

    The support statement generally says " unique hyperspot, local gathering place" or some other keyword, but doesnt give any proof , no web links, not even a good description of why, just keywords.

    The onus is on the submitter to provide the reviewer with the information to carry out the review, we shouldn't have to search the internet to try and determine if the submitter is telling the truth and the sub is accurate, all because they were to lazy or incompetent to do it during the submission.

  • Oakes1923-PGOOakes1923-PGO Posts: 114 ✭✭✭

    Its a fair point, but I tend to review with more of a forgiving eye. Don't give me the hard sell. Show me what it is, tell me what it is and let me know that is popular, especially if its Small-town USA and if all those thigns line up gets the nod from me, even if its just a three star review. Popular is an not definitive term and very subjective. It also shouldn't require an award to be popular and Niantic has never said as much but I've seen to many posts essentially demanding proof of such.

    Also including websites can get dicey. I've had nominations rejected for including websites in the supporting text (even though it is permitted there) as they are not allowed in the description.

  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This^^ I 100% agree. Most local business nominations start out with the name (obvious) and description something like “local restaurant with good food” supporting info tends to be “local restaurant is a social gathering spot with good food and a local hotspot” and generally ends there. Throwing keywords from the guidelines into the nomination to try and say “yes this meets criteria” but you need to do a little more than that

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 423 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If a nomination matches the "acceptance" criteria without violating any "rejection" reasons, then it may* be accepted.

    It used to be in Wayfarer that a reviewer could select as a rejection reason "Generic Business". This has now been removed, with the intention being (as confirmed by @NianticCasey-ING) that nominations should not be rejected because it is a business. Selling things doesn't preclude eligibility.

    But the business does still need to be eligible under at least one of the acceptance criteria. Paintball field? Great place for exercise and spending time with others. Paint store? Umm, well, very likely not**.

    *"may" != "must be"

    **occasionally you'll find an otherwise ineligible location with a big eye-catching object on the roof. Oversized giant paint can? Nominate THAT, not the business. Roof cow? Absomoootely valid!

  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • mamafox207-PGOmamafox207-PGO Posts: 8 ✭✭

    *"may" != "must be" , literally means, "may" does not equal "must be"

    Its Pokémon GO quick search vernacular. !Shiny gives you every thing that isn't shiny.

  • Jzitam-PGOJzitam-PGO Posts: 37 ✭✭

    Personally, I am one for them but I do keep in mind that not all cook shop/corner store/pop up shop is deem eligible. I review with the intention of getting the ones that meet the criteria, in the game. As for the ones that doesn’t meet the criteria, I naturally reject with the correction rejection and explanation.

    aim is to build the community not tear it done.

  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fyi the comments actually never go to the submitter but rather just niantic reads them lol

  • Oakes1923-PGOOakes1923-PGO Posts: 114 ✭✭✭

    This has come up on several forums lately as the criteria has changed recently and the "Generic Business" rejection reason has been removed. By definition, the vast majority of local business are considered unique and would be eligible under current guidance. Even those "Big Chains" could have unique one off locals given the right setting as posts from Casey have indicated.

    With some of the more seasoned reviewers there seems to be some resistance to this change. Don't let that deter you.

    The example I like to use is fictitious, Mama Jo's House of Creole. Inherently eligible since it could be considered either a great place to explore or a great place to social. Would not meet any rejection criteria since it is unique; There is no other Mamma Jo's in the world. Now its up to you as a reviewing if you think it meets the rest of the review criteria. Is the Title/Description accurate? is it historically/culturally relevant? is it visually unique? safe access? proper location?

    Some folks on this forum have indicated that they require ample evidence for a local business to be deemed popular. I am not of that opinion. I do not require evidence of Best of awards, or a rave review in a magazine. Provide some details around business, be it s shop, boutique, restaurant, that make you think it would be a great stop. You should not have/ nor expect a nomination description or the supporting evidence to be wordsmithed to with an inch of its life. Use common sense and your best judgement and you will likely be on the right side of the agreement.

    If you are submitting such a place I would recommend not upgrading, as these tend to me sacrificial lambs to "fishers", folks looking for easy agreements, so they reject many things and accept only specific things in order to catch more agreements quickly. From the most recent AMA it sounds like Niantic is looking to change the rewards system soon so hopefully that will become less of an issue for us, sooner rather then later.

  • oscarc1-INGoscarc1-ING Posts: 215 ✭✭✭✭

    By "Some folks" are you referring to NianticCasey and the official Wayfarer Content Guidelines? lol

    "Mama Jo's House of Creole" might be unique on its own, but rejection reasons still take precedence as per the paragraph at the top of the Eligibility Criteria and the Rejection Criteria pages.

    Please be weary of straying from the established criteria and from misleading people and twisting guidelines. Cheers ;)

  • Jzitam-PGOJzitam-PGO Posts: 37 ✭✭

    Lol that sucks. So we’re just to sit with the generic rejection code and that’s it?

  • sogNinjaman-INGsogNinjaman-ING Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yup. No point in typing anything in the rejection reason box unless required - all your helpful advice evaporates into cyberspace.

  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sadly yes. Would be if used properly and moderated a great way to give helpful tips to people submitting. But i can see it getting abused very quickly

  • Jzitam-PGOJzitam-PGO Posts: 37 ✭✭

    Indeed, the comments would spiral. Niantic could probably setup a portal to review rejections with non-abusive comments. Just a wild dream.

  • mamafox207-PGOmamafox207-PGO Posts: 8 ✭✭

    There are some good resources on the help page for info on how to properly review. I found the rating scale to be most helpful. Couple with the fact that business are now eligible this should provide you with some solid footing when making decisions on local business. If your personal view is generally "it should be fine" then I would think a 4 would be the appropriate rating, that is how I review.

    Rating Scale

    You will be asked various questions about a nomination and answer by rating on a scale of one to five stars. In general, use the following guidelines when deciding how to vote:

    If you strongly agree, choose 5 stars

    If you are unsure or have no opinion, choose 3 stars

    If the answer is definitely no, choose 1 star and select a rejection reason

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