Millions of shoppers are turning their backs on larger chains in an effort to support local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during the coronavirus pandemic, a new Funding Circle survey has revealed.
80 per cent of respondents told the peer-to-peer lending platform that they have chosen to buy from independent businesses rather than larger chain stores during lockdown.
A third have opted to buy from a local bakery instead of buying baked goods at a supermarket; while others have chosen to shop at independent greengrocers, coffee shops and florists.
More than half (54 per cent) of those surveyed said that they are doing more to support local SMEs than ever before, with nine in 10 planning to carry on shopping locally in the future. Another 54 per cent said that they have been introduced to a new local business over the past few months.
“It’s been fantastic to see how communities have come together to support small businesses at a time when they need it most,” said Lisa Jacobs, Funding Circle’s UK managing director.
“From choosing to buy a loaf of bread at your local bakery to visiting an independent florist for fresh flowers – these small actions make a big difference to small businesses.
“This shift in the way people shop will only be positive for the recovery of small businesses over this coming period and it’s promising to see that this trend is likely to continue into the future.”
An enormous 96 per cent of those surveyed said that lockdown has made them realise how important SMEs are to the economy and society, while 76 per cent would like to see more local businesses in their community.
Funding Circle’s research also found that most people prefer independent brands and would be prepared to spend a little extra if it meant supporting local businesses. Half of those surveyed said that they like knowing that they are supporting their local community, while 46 per cent said they were attracted to the unique products on offer.