Covid-19 & Independent Businesses In Harrogate
Can I help? I do not have the facts to tell you how to cope with the Covid-19 Pandemic as an illness. This is a post about how you can keep on helping independent, small businesses survive these times. There is a massive economic downturn across the world and I aim to give a few solutions, in my own small way. Why would I be doing this? Well, because as a result of the downturn, I am not getting work either – I am struggling to make ends meet. I will be talking a bit about Covid-19 and small, independent businesses in Harrogate. How you can help these businesses and how to keep the town of Harrogate a thriving place to do business.
An example of the Coronavirus-Panic is in this tweet. Harrogate Tea Rooms took less than £20 in a day – how they will weather the storm I am unsure. There are so many businesses that I know of that are being affected by people staying indoors. Everyone from clothing stores to niche stores – people are not leaving the house and going in to town.
Today we took only £13.50. Not enough for two hours wages; let alone costs.— The Harrogate Tea Rooms (@HarrogateTeaRms) March 10, 2020
Appreciate we aren’t the only ones suffering, but this #viruseffect is the last thing the high street needed. Please try & support #independents. We want to be here long after the virus has gone. 🙏🏻🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/S1osRiu38y
The economic downturn caused by Coronavirus-Panic is tangeable. There is also the knock on effect for people having less money to spend. Harrogate is a conference town and conferences are starting to cancel. This will be having a dire effect on the hostelries and places to stay in town. Indeed, I am DJing an event in Major Tom’s on Sunday and I doubt it will be busy.
There is a distinct lack of spending except in the big supermarkets – and that is on loo roll and pasta. But, what can people do to help out small businesses in these times?
There may be the opportunity to purchase a gift voucher from the store in question. If it is worrying for people to leave the house then phone up the shop in question and ask for a gift voucher. Some of the websites I have built have a way of ordering gift vouchers online. This means there is a short cash injection to the business and that could be a lifeline.
Take your time to leave a glowing review of a favourite business online. If you have a Google account, rate them on Google. This will improve their search rankings and let them gain domain authority. It is very important to give online feedback for the business you love. This review could be the difference between a store closing or keep on going through the downturn. It will make a store owner who has not seen anyone all day feel needed. It will make them feel included.
This kind of ties in with the previous two points. Because you are house bound does not mean you have to stop commercial interests. Commerce depends on people’s need for new things. This is what the business I am in thrives on. I help people supply solutions to everyday needs through eCommerce, as part of a good website. So, if you are indoors and you are wary of venturing out – chip in and get your item delivered. I have built a range of online eCommerce solutions and I hope you see the value in what these shops sell.
My wife is a dog walker – she takes puppas and doggos out for a stroll and treats them to a royal time. She has only had two appointments this week; everyone is working from home and not in need of her services. It is heart breaking to see her with nothing to do, pining for the hounds that she walks. Do you run a service orientated website (such as a dog walker) where you have to come in contact with others? How are you coping with the downturn? Get in contact and I could help – how are you coping? As a Digital Designer I have been feeling the knock on effect…
Meetings are being cancelled and a lot of my local clients are struggling. I am concerned for their future in all honesty.
This week, even the City had their worst day since 1987. The Conservative Government are doing nothing to help and we are clutching at straws. Self-professed ‘experts’ are now preaching Danger from the gogglebox – even though most of them don’t hold an O-Level in Biology. It is all looking a bit grim for the future. Work is quiet and things are not picking up due to increased fear of contamination. It is the Bricks-n-Mortar business I am fearful for. Their overheads are massive and they are only getting less than £50/Day Income and yet have to pay wages and rent. Not to start on the stock. And, once they are gone they are gone – it is reaching critical “use it or lose it.” It is always tough getting a business to flourish. You put your heart and soul in to it but you are never quite sure where it will go. These days, due to the pandemic, the situation is getting worse. People are not wanting to leave the house and this means that shops, cafes and restaurants are going to go under. Use them or lose them, folks.