While small businesses don’t have the deep resources or ability to persuade governments to bail them out that some large organisations enjoy, they do have ingenuity and agility on their side.
I am amazed by the ingenuity many small businesses are showing, many pubs and restaurants now offer takeaways, a local pub business in my area is offering very popular deliveries of boxes of beer, another country pub has set up a pop up shop. A local supplier of cakes to cafes and restaurants is offering home deliveries. Another friend has moved her health and fitness training online and continued her work there, may be needed after all the beer and cake! Yet another enterprising friend started making pretty re-usable fabric facemasks, put them on a well-known Internet shopping site and is now wondering how she will fulfil all the orders.
I have friends who have continued to operate their businesses on a reduced scale, agreeing with their staff to take a furlough to cut costs. The important thing here is to agree this with the staff concerned, many will be happy to wait this out at home on 80% pay. Please try to avoid the unfortunate approach taken by Weatherspoons, Sports Direct and Travelodge, no matter what the economy is like after this, good staff are hard to find and make all the difference to any business, bad feeling takes a long time to overcome.
I really hope my ingenious friends will survive and prosper, by carrying on their tradition of customer service, they deserve to. Some of may have found good new business streams they can use on a long term basis. For all of them, they should also be in a good position to recover quickly as the lockdown ends, retaining loyal staff and customers.