A new study has revealed that one-fifth of microbusinesses (those with under 9 employees) have set up an online presence for the first time in order to survive the COVID-19 outbreak.
The research conducted by GoDaddy (a website building platform for SMEs), has shown that as many as 1m microbusinesses have tried to build a digital brand as they innovate to survive the lockdown.
As Britain enters its fifth week of lockdown, many industries are finding it increasingly difficult to stay afloat. Government-backed CBILS loans are still struggling to approve the majority of business owners who applied for the scheme despite its opening over a month ago.
33% of business owners suggested that if there were to be another two months of lockdown, they would expect a 50% drop in sales, where 38% of them would be pushed into greater debt.
“The pandemic has put extraordinary demands on the 5.6 million micro-businesses in the UK. They are vital to our economy and we have seen how resilient and determined entrepreneurs are to get through this and for micro-businesses, it has meant nothing short of the second digital revolution,” states GoDaddy Regional President, Irana Wasti.
Coronavirus has altered consumer attitudes towards micobusiness. In fact, 63% of consumers say they are more likely to shop at small businesses to help them financially during the pandemic, while 67% add they hope to continue doing so after restriction laws have been lifted.
The news is welcomed by small business owners such as Anna Chapman, co-owner of luxury hot chocolate store, Knoops. Before the Coronavirus outbreak, she had just opened her first London store in Clapham Junction, with plans for a second London site opening in the summer.
“Times are tough for everyone, including for microbusinesses such as ourselves. Like many others, we’ve had to innovate practically overnight to stay relevant in this new world, launching new products and services online so that people can enjoy Knoops in the comfort of their own home. Obviously we’re concerned about the impact a longer lockdown will have on the economy and our business in the medium term, but right now we’re all having to get used to working from home and not being together in-store,” she says.
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