While supermarkets are equipped to carry on through lockdowns, things can be different for small businesses and local shops. How are yours coping?
As England joins Wales and Northern Ireland in a national lockdown today, we’d like to know how your local shops, such as independent retailers, convenience stores, cafés, pubs and takeaways have adapted to help keep their communities well served.
Back in May, we celebrated the unsung heroes of the pandemic with stories of community groups, food parcels and daily deliveries to the vulnerable.
We also took a lot at how our own Which? Trusted Traders had been supporting their local communities.
We think it’d be great to shine that light on your local small businesses as they strive to stay open and keep moving through difficult times.
Sharing your stories
I’ve been asking around Which? to see what everyone’s local shops have been up to through the first lockdown in England and the ‘circuit breaker’ in Wales where our offices are based.
We’re hoping you can add to the stories from Scotland’s five-level system and Northern Ireland’s own circuit breaker in the comments.
Some of the stories I’ve been told have been fantastic – such as the Crown Inn pub in Keynsham providing free meals for children as some local families struggle with the effects of the pandemic.
Many businesses have been mentioned as converting to delivery services in order to continue providing for their communities, and I’m told the Co-Op in Bourton on the Water has given residents the opportunity to email in their orders, reducing the time they need to spend inside the shop itself.
Farmers markets in Cardiff have adapted to provide home deliveries, while pubs in London have even become deli shops.
In Rugby, smaller independent bakeries teamed up to provide free meals for children over half term.
Over to you!
It’s been great to hear some of the stories from Which? staff, but now we’d like to hear yours. How did your local shops and other businesses that were able to remain open cope the first time around?
Do they have plans to make changes to how they operate and serve their communities as the second lockdown begins in England? And how have things already been going in Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as those in Scotland’s highest tiers?
And will you be doing your shopping locally yourself, or opting for online delivery slots?
Let us know in the comments, and help us celebrate the local businesses who’ve been going the extra mile through such a difficult period.