< Back to blog

Indie traders proving lockdown may not mean slowdown Posted On 01 April 2020

The Coronavirus outbreak has dealt business a blow with the unprecedented lockdown demanded by government sparking panic buying and giving the economy more jitters than a dodgy curry.

And when big brands batten down the hatches with their gloomy forecasts, the common perception is that small independent traders will feel more than the pinch as they stumble towards an uncertain future.

However, the entrepreneurial flame which encouraged them to set up on their own in the first place seems to be lighting a new – and, in some cases, profitable – path.

With necessity the mother of invention, many small businesses have taken a slight detour to take advantage of severe shortages after the initial surge of panic-buying laid waste to the big boys’ storerooms.

Such as the independent whisky and gin producers who gave customers a welcome tonic by stepping in to plug the shortfall as shoppers stripped supermarket shelves in their quest for alcohol-based hand sanitisers.

And when the Prime Minister announced restrictions on public gatherings, many bars and restaurants refused to bemoan their misfortune and decided to diversify into the takeaway industry. The Glasshouse Beer Company, a brewery and taphouse in Birmingham, for instance, saw a swift decline in footfall and decided to tweak their business model, introducing a beer delivery service with payment taken before delivery, invoices sent remotely and the ordered cans left on the customer’s doorstep to minimise social contact.

Within 24 hours of introduction, they had advance orders of more than £2,500.

And while urban-based restaurants have flourished thanks to the added dimension of delivering takeaways, rural gastropubs have found themselves providing a much-needed ‘meals on wheels’ service for the vulnerable and self-isolating, as well as remote communities

Of course, in times of crises such as this, customers lean more heavily on internet-savvy businesses, particularly food suppliers such as Bramblebee Farm in Norfolk, who have reported a massive surge in demand for their food boxes of fresh vegetables and locally-produced meats as keyboard shoppers make the most of lockdown and let their fingers, rather than their feet, do the walking.

But if your daily exercise guides you towards your trusty local corner shop, rather than the supermarket, so much the better.
Perhaps more than ever before “use it or lose it” is highly prophetic. And if you do indeed “use it”, leave a review online – both you and the small business in our community could be grateful in the long run.

< Back to blog

Connect with us

Recent Posts

Earth Day 2021: How to make your home more environmentally friendly

Join in with millions of people around the world and make your home more climate clean this Earth Day   This year celebrates the 51st anniversary of Earth Day. Originally conceived in 1970 by peace activist John McConnell as a day of education about how to look after our Earth, in 1990, Earth Day went …

Read more...

Cheers… and chairs! Garden furniture to enhance your outdoor space

Whether you’re looking for something practical or a splash of style, there’s lots of choice out there   The days are getting warmer, the nights are getting shorter and the lure of a cold beer in the garden on a balmy summer evening grows ever stronger. Unless you have a severe case of patio embarrassment …

Read more...

5% mortgage scheme launched

The government guaranteed, 5% mortgage deposit scheme has launched this week   High Street lenders are now offering mortgages with just a 5% deposit under a new government guaranteed scheme that launched yesterday. The policy, which was announced in the Budget, is designed to help more first-time buyers secure a home. The scheme is similar …

Read more...

Wallpaper know-how

Our top tips when it comes to wallpapering   Wallpapering. A word that strikes fear into a lot of DIYers, however, with our handy guide you too can become a wallpapering pro.   The Basics First things first, always go for a high-quality wallpaper. If you’re thinking of wallpapering a room, then you are thinking …

Read more...

Public urged to use walk-in centre as shoppers come out in force

Symptom-free test site set to open in Swaffham   The next step on the Government’s roadmap out of Coronavirus restrictions was greeted by sunny weather and a rush of shoppers into town centres across Norfolk. This week’s milestone in the easing of lockdown meant shops selling non-essential items, pubs, gyms and hairdressers could welcome customers …

Read more...