COVID-19: Business as (un)usual

COVID-19: How small businesses can support the community

23 April 2020
4 minute read

Jhanvi Gudka

It is perhaps ironic that the one thing social distancing and COVID-19 has enabled is community cohesion in some truly inspiring ways. In this blog, we share our favourite examples of how businesses are supporting frontline workers, as well as some the most vulnerable people, and how you can use your small business skills to support your local community.  

Supporting the frontline  

Whether it’s our brilliant NHS staff, those serving us at the supermarkets, or the people keeping our transport links in service for anyone that needs it, there is no denying the selflessness of our frontline workers and it has been great to see them recognised not just by the Government, but by big and small businesses alike. From supermarkets such as Tesco and Morrison’s offering special trading hours and pay increases for employees deemed at high risk, to restaurants and transport companies offering hefty discounts, there is a lot of appreciation being shown to our frontline workers.  

We know that small businesses can’t always match the incentives offered by the bigger companies but there is still lots you can do to help from providing deliveries to your local NHS Trust to using your products as a means to fundraise for key COVID-19 charities (you can find some examples of charities here). And of course, don’t forget that supporting frontline workers doesn’t always mean for free or through a charity – sometimes the product you offer is exactly what people need to lift their spirits! Have a look at another one of our blogs to find out how you can keep your business afloat during COVID-19. 

Helping the vulnerable 

Given the nature of COVID-19 and the guidelines from the Government, we know many small businesses are having to pause business as usual. However, this has created space for some very inspirational initiatives to help the most vulnerable in our society. For example, many small businesses including Liberis customer, The Priory Hotel, are using their kitchen space and existing relationships with suppliers to provide hot meals for those unable to cook or access ingredients.  

Meanwhile, other small businesses are providing free online resources from fitness and mindfulness sessions to online cooking courses, to combat loneliness and help people better manage their mental health. These are not just great ideas in and of themselves, but also help to extend your business’ reach and keep you front of mind for consumers long beyond the pandemic. 

We hope these examples spark an idea or two of how you could use your skills, space and resources to forge meaningful connections with those around you. For more inspiration, check out Save the High Street’s Idea of the Day and for more positive small business stories, don't forget to check out the Good News Stories on our blog!  

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