With the launch of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme this week certain small businesses have had significant support from the government in the UK whilst other industry sectors would argue they have been forgotten. Another recent area of support has come from consumers themselves and as we have previously reported and campaigned for, many have made sure to use local small businesses instead of chains that don't necessarily need the same support.
A new survey has revealed that 64% of small businesses in the UK have noticed since the start of lockdown that there has been increased support and awareness of the UK SME sector and many believe this trend is set to continue, with 62% of respondents planning to stay loyal to the local businesses that helped them through lockdown. The SME club is delighted with this news as it shows that the consumers really are starting to understand how important their local businesses are and we will continue to campaign to #saveourshops especially after government help stops.
Since March UK SMEs have borrowed over £12billion in government-backed loans. This support that the UK government offered demonstrates the importance of the UK SME sector that employs over 16 million people in the UK and provides 52% of private sector turnover.
Luke Davis, CEO and Founder of SME investment firm IW Capital, comments on the trend:
“Small businesses have had to work incredibly hard to survive this period, from pivoting their offering to a digital platform to making tough decisions about furlough. One positive that does seem to have come out of this period, however, does seem to be a much greater awareness in the public of the importance of small, local businesses and why supporting them is so vital.
While no business can, or perhaps even should, survive purely on the goodwill of consumers, it does allow firms disrupting established sectors a chance to make an impact. This is especially true of firms with a genuine compassionate goal at the heart of their business, whether that be environmental or societal, firms that make an impact will, hopefully, in future be able to cut through corporate nonsense in a way that may have previously been more difficult."