Why supporting ALL local businesses is critical to the UK’s recovery
You’ll probably have seen the extensive campaigns about #shoplocal and #supportlocalbusinesses. These focused social messages have garnered a lot of attention and a very significant follow-ship in recent months, and quite rightly so! There is no denying that the effects of the global pandemic for small and medium local businesses has been huge.
This is true for ALL local businesses, however, and this blog has been written to try and extend that thinking beyond just retail, hospitality and the obvious high street companies.
The high street has been the focus for mainstream media reporting because it has a very visible context that demonstrates the change to our society caused by the lockdowns. This focus has not fairly represented the wider effects of the economic nuclear bomb that has affected many thousands of other business owners.
Whilst it IS true to say that the high street and hospitality took a massive and direct hit, there were also substantial problems caused for other businesses. Many of these companies have been almost invisible in the reporting, and are equally deserving of our compassion and support.
By providing a broader insight into your local business setting, I am hoping to encourage you to engage with ALL local companies, and not just those who were most obviously affected and highlighted to date.
What different types of small businesses have been negatively affected by Covid19?
Big businesses of course draw headlines. The loss of retail giants such as Debenhams do demonstrate the point most visibly. Across the UK, however, a bigger problem exists. Nearly every business was affected in one way or another, and the majority were affected negatively.
We (as a nation) need to encourage the resurgence of entrepreneurial spirit, and encourage innovation as we move forward. It’s important to remember that there are around 5.9 million SME companies in the UK.
These companies are responsible for 3 out of every 5 jobs in the UK, and contribute about half of the country’s private sector turnover. Their provision of employment and finance into the economy is HUGE!
What happens to these small businesses matters to a similar (arguably a greater) level to what happens in the big companies. The requirement they have for support goes way beyond just the high street, and affects all SMEs across the nation. As a community, we need to recognise this, and help the business owners in all smaller companies bounce back strongly.
They need your support, and they need it now.
Why is the smaller business market so important?
Within my role as a business coach and director of a marketing agency, I have had the privilege of nurturing a wide range of entrepreneurial business owners. I have worked with clients who have designed anti-hijack equipment for commercial shipping, as well as regular trades businesses and everything in between. There is a massive and diverse range of companies out there, many of whom are less visible because they are part of a supply chain rather than direct provision.
The unifying theme for ALL of these businesses is that the owners at some point all took a risk.
The risk of stepping out of the safety of employment, with paid sick leave, and pension contributions, and all the other benefits. They chose to step out and create something new, and set up an entity that doesn’t just deliver products and services, but also generates employment for others. In many cases, these pioneers put their heart, soul, and life savings into these ventures. They deserve a good result, and they deserve our support in getting there.
In my own companies we have created 15 jobs to date. Through my coaching work, my clients have created many more than that. I am immensely proud of that, and feel a deep set obligation not just to provide a regular income for my team members but also to develop them as people.
I want to give them some opportunities that they will simply not get elsewhere. I am wedded to doing that at a more than superficial level. It matters to me, and I know it matters to the other SME owners out there too. It’s not just about the economy, or the provision of service and produce; it is about creating opportunities and changing people’s lives THROUGH these businesses.
Why are Growth by Design & UK Growth Coach supporting this campaign?
SMEs are vital. Without them, the economy suffers, and so to do the opportunities for our future generations. At Growth by Design & UK Growth Coach we are really passionate about the success of local businesses, and believe that it is time for the communities they serve, to serve them in return.
It’s time to show these businesses your loyalty and your consideration. Whether that is on the high street, hiring a plumber, using a local mechanic, or engaging with any other privately owned company. Be there for them now, so that they will be there for the future.
We have been proud to support and guide many businesses over the past decade and more. It’s part of our core vision statement to help create thriving communities as a result of enabling business success. Businesses that grow create employment. Employment drives the economy through direct wages and spending, but also through indirect tax payments that support society. This really matters.
So please help me now, and make the commitment to buy from your local businesses, and to support their recovery now as well as their future growth.