Adapt to survive

Update blog about all the relevant information & support for small businesses and what we’re doing to contribute with our community

The last couple of weeks have felt like an eternity for many with the state of play and the official advice changing sometimes daily. Businesses have completely adapted one day and the next had to do it all over again in order to survive. A couple of positives that we have seen in amongst the chaos and turmoil is the support and love for small, local businesses. This enthusiasm from customers combined with the strong support of the government should go a long way to ensuring that when normality resumes our local businesses are still there and better than ever.

Adapt to survive

Small business owners are resilient. Whilst trying to keep their businesses moving, they are also thinking about their staff, their customers and society at large. We first saw the likes of cafes and restaurants moving to a takeaway only model and then as things escalated and we moved towards a full lock-down, most have taken further steps to either close temporarily or move to delivery only.

We realised when personally looking for some of our local favourites here in Edinburgh on the main delivery apps that many of them were not present because it is not something they have offered before and not something they are necessarily set up for. So we decided to pull together a list of these ‘Secret Takeaways’ in Edinburgh and London to help drum up some support. Check out our Edinburgh and London lists and support your own local favourites!

What do we know about support?

Many businesses have now been instructed to shut, but the list of businesses that are able to stay open is still being refined. Today we saw off-licences being added to this list.

Aside from everything mentioned in my last post, the government has continued to add to its a package of support for businesses big and small and their employees. The biggest such announcement is the Job Retention Scheme. Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. 

Many members of our community are self-employed and are still waiting for a lifeline to be announced by the UK Government. Whilst we expect more support for this group of 5m+ workers to come, we know that it is an incredibly complicated process. So far they have pushed back the deadline for self-employed people to file self-assessment tax returns from July until the end of January next year. Whatever support comes for self-employed people, it can’t come soon enough.

What we’ve seen on our platform

We are still seeing new spaces being listed and demand coming in for these spaces as our platform offers a much needed additional revenue stream at this testing time. Kitchen space is the main area of movement as kitchen owners look to maximise income and chefs look to fill the demand for delivery food. Whilst we expect that there will be less demand for space over the next month or so, we know that when business resumes, we will be a valuable lifeline to two key groups.

  • Businesses who have premises but have missed out on revenue for a couple of months. These businesses will be looking for ways to generate extra income and hiring the space to others out of hours is one such way to significantly increase revenue
  • Freelancers and businesses out of premises. For those without permanent space our platform offers access to flexible, affordable commercial space free from long leases or big commitments. We hope this will offer the leg-up many businesses will need to get back on their feet once we’ve beaten this.

The most important thing for all of us right now is to stay inside, stay healthy and get ourselves in the best possible position for our businesses to thrive once we’re through this.

Callum McPherson

Founder

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