The researchers revealed that the vast majority (96%) of UK consumers support their local businesses and 63% of them have made a special effort to do so since awareness about the Coronavirus pandemic began to spread in early February and March of this year.
Over 70% of consumers responding to the survey said they plan to spend more with their local businesses than they did in previous years. Nearly 80% of London-based consumers claimed that they will buy more items from small independent businesses following the COVID-19 outbreak.
More SMEs have been reporting increased support from local consumers, with 42% already feeling better with the extra help by local residents since the Coronavirus health crisis began.
Over 60% of large SMEs also claim that consumer attitudes have changed when it comes to shopping locally since the Coronavirus outbreak.
But this isn’t felt by all small or medium-sized businesses, with 38% stating they’ve not really seen a big difference and the change also depends on the size of the business and services being offered. Only a third or 33% of sole traders said they felt supported by their local community of consumers compared to 52% for larger companies.
Although the trend of helping or supporting local companies has picked up during these challenging times, 44% of UK consumers say they prefer to make purchases online and 22% say the quality of products is usually better at more established retailers.
As reported by Peer2Peer Finance News, Chirag Shah, CEO at Nucleus Commercial Finance. stated:
“It’s reassuring to see the pandemic has strengthened support for small and medium-sized businesses in towns and communities across the country, and that our SMEs are witnessing this first-hand.”
“British businesses have always been resilient throughout, and adapting to change, and this insight shows that the global pandemic is no different. The current climate is likely to present challenging times for many, so it’s vital SMEs explore the many options available to them, finding the finance that fits both their long-term and short-term business needs.”
As reported recently, insolvency firm Red Flag Alert revealed that UK companies are facing £1.86 billion in losses due to unpaid invoices following the COVID-19 outbreak, even though the nation’s businesses have received financial support from the government’s Coronavirus relief packages.
While there was a decline in the total number of company insolvencies this year, the average debt per firm going out of business has gone up by 7%. Insolvent companies, on average, now leave behind around £205,000 (appr. $271,000) in unpaid invoices.