More consumers are supporting their local independent businesses during the Covid-19 crisis, new research has revealed.
Nucleus Commercial Finance found that the majority (96 per cent) of consumers support their local independent businesses and 63 per cent of those have made a conscious effort to do so since the pandemic started.
71 per cent of consumers intend to spend more with their local businesses than they did last year, a trend seen in the capital with 78 per cent of Londoners among those saying they’d spend more.
More small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have already noticed more support from local customers with 42 per cent feeling better supported by locals since the pandemic began.
Over three in five (63 per cent) of larger SMEs also believe consumer attitudes have changed towards shopping locally since the pandemic.
However, this is not felt by all SMEs, with 38 per cent saying they have not noticed a difference and the change also dependent on business size.
Only a third of sole traders feel supported by their local community compared to 52 per cent for larger SMEs.
Despite the trend of supporting local businesses, 44 per cent of consumers prefer shopping online and 22 per cent believe the quality was better at major retailers.
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“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,” said Chirag Shah, chief executive of Nucleus Commercial Finance.
“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.”