IMPORTANT OF SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES

The recent pandemic has impacted all businesses, but small businesses in particular have felt the impact tenfold.

Not only are small businesses less able to cope with their ongoing costs whilst closed, but some industries have been disproportionately impacted, mainly because they cannot offer online services. Those businesses who provide a face-to-face service such as beauty salons, hairdressers, fitness centres & hospitality have all been forced to close. Wellness groups and indoor facilities have lost the human connection they once had, meaning people have felt a real sense of loneliness over the last year.

Whilst remaining positive is the key to avoiding the mental impacts of the pandemic, for some companies this has meant they have had to be inventive with how they operate. The once in-person exercise classes have gone remote by moving online, whilst cafés and restaurants have quickly had to discover how they can offer takeaway services.

These independent businesses have real people behind the brand, often with sustainability at the core of what they do, and many are charity funded organisations. So, with the re-opening of non-essential retail, it is an important reminder about how small businesses need your support during these times.

We have seen a rise in ‘through the door’ subscription services, whether as a gift to someone we cannot visit or for the ease of limiting our journeys. Whilst many people have taken the opportunity to start a small business amidst the pandemic, capturing the short-term gap in the market for online services delivered straight to your door, it goes unnoticed that many retailers and service providers have been left out of the loop due to the industry they are in.

WHAT DO LOCAL BUSINESSES DO?

• Small businesses who are independent from retail chains help the local economy by providing spending within their community. Local companies employ local people, who are likely to spend their earnings in small, local shops, in their area. In this sense, all local businesses thrive off each other, allowing for a greater capacity to create a strong local business community.

• Jobs are created by small businesses, providing opportunities for communities to grow and create financial independence. This allows local people to get involved with the community and the businesses becomes a part of the community lifestyle.

• Often smaller retailers invest more time into the customer journey and have customer services at the heart of what they do. This leads to a more positive customer experience, which seems to have become an after-thought for many large retailers.

• Supporting local businesses is better for the environment, as they have a smaller carbon footprint. These companies are, usually, involved in less international trade, and source all produce locally.

During the last year small businesses may have slipped under the radar. Local businesses are your neighbours, they support the local community and help bring funding into the area.

HOW TO SUPPORT THEM

You may be wondering how you can support small businesses?

As retail begins to open up, it got us thinking about what it is we can do to support our local businesses that may go unnoticed. In the mass market, local independent retailers really do have the world against them when it comes to footfall past their shop window during the pandemic. So here are a few ways in which you can support your local suppliers.

• Google Reviews. Word of mouth is the most powerful tool to businesses as people really do trust what reviews say. So, if you find something you love, write a review, and share it with your friends.

• Share on social media. If you find a small business, have purchased an item, or been received a gift from them, then share it. Small brands love to see you sharing their products. Find their hashtags or tag them in your posts.

• Discover new brands. Give Google a search for local businesses in your area, try new places you have not heard of – this goes for all sorts of industries, food, clothing, stationary. There are hundreds of suppliers around the country who might just be that little gem of a shop you have been looking for.

• Try local coffee shops. Try skipping the queue for the chain coffee shops and head to your local corner café, they will be so grateful you popped by and the coffee is often something a little more artisan.

• Gift cards. A great idea for a gift sent through the post and it helps businesses out with their cash flow until you are able to go in store and use it – it is a little reminder and a way you can offer your support by letting them know you are going to purchase.

• Get to know the owners. Build a relationship with the faces behind the brand and really connect with what it is they are doing.

At Cubo we are proud to support local businesses through social events and offering exclusive discounts on local suppliers to our members. Whether you are a start-up or a sole trader looking for flexible office space, we provide the essential space needed so you can grow your company in a comfortable space. We offer flexibility should you expand quicker than expected with many of our tenants moving from a hot desk to a 10-person office within a month!

Published 14th April 2021