5 Ways To Support Indies During Covid-19
We’re living in challenging times, and the current climate is creating a huge amount of stress for small businesses. The uncertainty makes it really hard for independent businesses to plan, and they really do rely on every coffee, card and loaf of bread you buy from them.
With this in mind, we thought we share some tips on how to support your local indies, even if you are self isolating, to make sure our local community stays strong and resilient in the face of adversity.
Cash flow for small businesses is vital, and without it the damage caused could have a huge knock on effect. Being able to pay the bills and their staff during the coronavirus pandemic is going to be extremely tough, if not impossible in some cases. Buying vouchers from businesses to spend later, will help to alleviate this cash flow crisis. Indies are great at reacting to demand, so whether you want vouchers from your local cafe, restaurant, gift shop, florist or yoga studio, more and more indies are offering vouchers to help them keep going. Check out our directory for inspiration and contact information.
If you’re struggling financially but want to help keep your local indies part of the neighbourhood, think about helping to promote them online. Everything from a like or a follow, to a positive review or share, will really help any small business. Check out our Instagram account for businesses to follow.
If your healthy and able to get out, check in with vulnerable residents in your neighbourhood to see if you can help with groceries or even arranging online deliveries for those without access to the internet. The Oxford Hub is running a great programme to make sure we stay resilient and connected as a city through out this difficult time. Sign up here.
If not anything else be kind. In times of stress and anxiety, a smile, a thank you, a phone call with words of encouragement, or lending a willing ear can all help, especially for small business owners. If you’re feeling under pressure, take a deep breath and remember to ask for support. We’re all in this together so don’t lash out, reach out.
If you run a small business and need some ideas to put in place a contingency plan, consider the following:
- Advertise and encourage your customers to buy vouchers to help with your cash flow
- If you have business loans, can you talk to your lender about payment holidays?
- Check if you have business interruption insurance as part of your business insurance
- Talk to your bank about how they might be able to help you (Lloyds and HSBC announced plans this weekend)
- Call Business Debtline if you need specific advice 0800 197 6026
- Talk to HMRC about tax credits if you need to spread out your tax payments. Their Covid-19 line is 0800 0159 559