Small retailers 'spending £22k to reopen after lockdown'
By David Wood | 18th August 2020
Owners of small retailers are spending an average of almost £22,000 to reopen after the economic lockdown, according to a new study.
The study by Nucleus Commercial Finance suggests that one in five small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are using their own savings to cover the cost of recovering from the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
The extra costs come at a time when smaller businesses have already reported an average loss of more than £250,000 due to the impact of Covid-19, according to the research.
The biggest cost was implementing new health and safety measures, as well as reconfiguring office or floor space.
Investing in new technology and introducing new contactless payment systems were a bigger concern for medium-sized businesses.
Sam Holliday, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) development manager for Gloucestershire, said: "What these figures reveal is that our high street retailers have clearly gone the extra mile to try and get back into business and they deserve enormous credit for doing so.
"There is no doubt that the Government has provided a lot of support to try and reignite the High Street with additional business rates reliefs, targeted grants and initiatives like 'Eat Out to Help Out' and the 'Shop Local Week' all playing their part in getting our retail and hospitality sectors moving again.
"However many smaller businesses already operate to very tight margins indeed and they are now being squeezed even further by social distancing measures and the costly post-lockdown health and safety measures.
"For these vital community businesses to grow and survive we need all of us, as consumers, to do our bit and get out there and support the High Street. At the same time we also need the Government to realise that just because the shop doors are now opening that is not the end of the issue by a long way.
"They need to take ever more bold and imaginative steps in the retail sector to give hope to our independent shopkeepers that they can go on to have a profitable future despite the massive hit they have taken."
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