Small Business Resilience


Small Business Britain has been working throughout Lockdown and the COVID-19 crisis in 2020 to support small businesses and understand what their needs are now and in the future. This has highlighted some key things - the huge strain this has put in particular on small businesses, many of whom had little to fall back on; the speed of the crisis took many unawares and it took several months for businesses to start to pick themselves up; and the switch to digital for small business has been dramatic, fast paced and in many cases transformational for their future. It has also highlighted the wider needs and role of small businesses - support for their mental health on the one hand, and the incredible support they provided throughout lockdown for their local communities.

The Small Business Resilience report is the latest in a series that has covered the last three years of small business. Small Business Resilience will uncover what it is taking for small businesses to get through the COVID-19 crisis, what makes small businesses resilient in a climate like this, and what other businesses can adopt to ensure their survival and future growth. The report will encompass a wide variety of perspectives, including small businesses, academics, industry experts and more.

The report will be launched early 2021 and we will share insights here every month as well as on social media and in the press.

October Insights

  • Small businesses have noticed customers moving to businesses that are more aligned with their values. This has served small businesses well.
  • Small businesses have benefited from reduced costs in travelling, subsistence and remote working which has helped to sustain them.
  • There is a need to innovate, adapt and remain ambitious and this mindset is helping small businesses keep going in difficult times.
Clare Talbot Jones Talbot Jones LtdChartered Insurance Brokers, Newcastle

Clare Talbot JonesWe are innovating and exploring many new opportunities including exporting, the Kickstart scheme and reaching other geographies in the UK with the benefit of new digital technology. There are many challenges ahead, but we are confident that with hard work, innovation, commitment and dedication we can overcome them.

My advice to small businesses is to focus on their core offering: is it right for the new normal? Find new ways to build a pipeline of customers and understand the best ways to convert them, given the current constraints. If the core offering isn’t working, pause or pivot. Build financial reserves and don’t skimp on support from professional service firms in order to build resilience. As Gunny Highway says in Heartbreak Ridge, "Improvise, adapt and overcome".

Leanne Farmer A Wee PedalCycle Tour Operator, Edinburgh

Leanne FarmerI am feeling positive because I have low overheads. Winning two awards has given me a boost and cemented my belief in what I am doing. I need to keep promoting my business and I have high hopes for it when tourism returns again. My advice to small businesses is don't give up on it. Find new ways around it. Keen an open mind. And promote on social media lots!

Tell us your thoughts by taking part in our online survey for small businesses.

This report is supported by TSB