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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucestershire's small businesses playing big part in communities

Small businesses may be feeling the pressure exerted by the coronavirus pandemic, but many are playing are playing a key role in their communities.

A report by the Federation of Small Businesses has shown how they are helping their locals areas.

The New Horizons report revealed:

  • 57 per cent of small firms are carrying out community roles.
  • 23 per cent are helping key workers by providing PPE, volunteering or offering accommodation.
  • 30 per cent of small business owners prioritised and supported vulnerable customers with 19 per cent offering free home deliveries.
  • 16 per cent of small businesses increased their online presence or developed a new one.

National chairman Mike Cherry said: "These are very uncertain times for all businesses with futures unknown.

"Small firms have long been the champions of innovating, adapting and engaging with others, especially during difficult periods, and the current situation is no exception.

"Right across the country we are seeing countless acts of kindness, volunteers and community efforts from small businesses and the self-employed, helping each other to survive, recover and thrive."

He continued: "More than half of all small firms are carrying out key roles in their communities, with about a third prioritising their businesses for the vulnerable and about a quarter donating provisions to food banks.

"This is a testament to the efforts of all of the country's 5.8 million small businesses and their importance to local communities."

Small firms have also played a crucial role in supporting key workers throughout the crisis.

Mr Cherry said: "Around a quarter have stepped up in some way to aid key workers, be that through volunteering or returning to work for the NHS, providing critical PPE and hand sanitisers or offering up support and accommodation for those professionals who are working tirelessly to save lives.

"Small businesses have introduced new creative solutions and frugally innovated to keep afloat and help others at this critical time.

"They have developed a wide range of innovative marketing strategies to provide their products and services during the lockdown."

He continued: "Small businesses remain the backbone of the economy, pillars of local communities and crucial outlets of support. Government support has ensured that many of these businesses can either continue to trade in some way or pick up where they left off after the crisis.

"That's why it's more important than ever to support our small businesses wherever possible."

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