Support our small businesses as they open up

By Anita Jaynes on 15 June, 2020

The Business Exchange is encouraging the Swindon and Wiltshire community to rally together and support local businesses as we begin to lift-off from lockdown.

As our high streets get set to open their doors today for the first time since March, they need us more than ever.

If you need to buy something, purchase it from one of our many hard working and passionate independents. You’ll be helping to keep dreams alive and families from struggling. Many of our local retailers are too scared to use the hard-hitting words ‘use us or lose us’, that that’s the reality.

The same applies to anyone looking to buy products or services for their business – invest locally. We have such a diverse mix of businesses on our doorstep, why look anywhere else?

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is also calling on the public to support our small businesses as they open up. Mike Cherry, National Chair of the FSB, said, “The past few months have been and remain some of the toughest periods of trading that the economy has faced in recent history.

“Right across every single village, high street, town centre and city shopping centre, small businesses have faced an unprecedented period of turbulence the likes none have seen before. That is why today is a crucial landmark in getting back to business, bringing the retail economy back on track as well as crucially safeguarding the livelihoods of millions of employees.

“But this won’t be like flicking on a light switch, for many this will be a slow and gradual easing back into business. Not every small firm will find it financially viable to open, while others will not be able to cope with full customer demand on day one with social distancing measures still in place, and their desire to protect their staff, suppliers and customers. Some shops are deliberately staggering opening times among themselves to help manage the high street, and manage deliveries.

“The raft of financial packages from the Government has enabled thousands of businesses to stay afloat, but this of course cannot last forever, and we need small businesses to be back and trading, so they can get back on their feet. That’s why it’s vital that the public now do all they can to support small firms as they start to reopen.

“In place of a physical visit to a retailer, many small firms are trading in some capacity online, this is a great way support businesses that aren’t ready to open just yet. Perhaps also go on to their social media and express your support, and provide a positive review where they have a review site. But for those going into the bricks and mortar stores, patience from the public is needed. There may be queues in place, limits on the number of shoppers in a single building and other measures all designed to protect staff as well as customers. So I’d urge everyone to show patience and consideration especially during the next couple of weeks.

“Making up 99 per cent of all businesses in the country, small firms are already the backbone of the economy as well as being at the heart of their local communities which is why they will play a pivotal role in the economic recovery over the weeks and months to come. Therefore it has never been more important to support small firms, shop local and support the nation’s self-employed.”

Over the coming weeks The Business Exchange will be helping to promote our small local businesses by resharing their ‘open for business’ messaging. If you would like The Business Exchange to give your business a shout out email us: tweet us @TBESW and follow the hashtag #TBESupport.