New website Thursday Market tells you which local firms your friends use, and whether they’re any good

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It’s a common frustration: You’re stuck with a job that needs doing, but you can’t do it yourself. Your brother? No way. Your your neighbor? Yeah, right. Where do you turn? Who’s trustworthy and reliable enough to do it for you? That’s where Thursday Market comes in. It’s a new online referral network connecting you with local businesses, but crucially, it’s filled with ones recommended by your friends and neighbors.

That’s a key difference, because you don’t have to rely on the opinion of faceless unknowns on a review website — opinions that may not even be genuine in the first place. Instead, you get to see who worked on your pal Dave’s house, who cut Sally’s hair, and which lawyer sorted out their divorce when Sally didn’t like Dave’s choice of decor. If they’re satisfied, there’s a good chance you will be too.

Getting both sides of the story is always a good thing. The people behind the businesses also get to use Thursday Market as a way to connect with customers, both past and present. Useful as a forum for gaining feedback or finding new opportunities, Thursday Market will be equally as beneficial to the people actually doing the work.

Thursday Market launched in beta during 2013, and has since attracted 1.1 million users and 3,000 businesses. Don’t think this is just a way to find a plumber or an electrician, either. Inside you’ll find web designers, photographers, and real estate agents listed, plus fitness trainers, wedding planners, and even massage therapists. Because you search using your ZIP code, you’ll get local results and recommendations by people nearby. It’s also private, so your searches and data won’t be mined by other companies hoping to grab your business.

Try it for yourself at, where you’ll need to log in with your Facebook account. There’s no separate app for your smartphone yet, but the site works perfectly through your browser.