A price worth paying – stock up small to support independent retailers

Hundreds of independent businesses have signed up to #StockUpSmall, now they need consumer’s help to support them through the coronavirus crisis.

10 April 2020

When it comes to choosing where to shop during the coronavirus lockdown, consumers have flocked to larger supermarkets in order to get their share of essentials and ingredients. In the midst of the crisis, it’s easy to forget about the small businesses selling new and exciting products, who need the public’s support now more than ever.

Research conducted by iwoca before the pandemic found that when given a choice, consumers were more sympathetic towards the struggles of smaller businesses than larger companies. But, when it came down to cost, nearly 70% avoided buying from smaller businesses if they could save just £1 by choosing a large company instead.

At iwoca, we want to support the small businesses that make the UK a diverse and exciting place to shop. That’s why we’ve partnered with Joe Taylor of Real Handful snacks and Andrew Allen of Biff’s Kitchen to raise awareness of their #StockUpSmall campaign.

“The demand for major supermarkets has been so strong that they’ll probably do quite well during this crisis,” says Seema Desai, iwoca’s Chief Operating Officer. “It’s going to be Britain’s small and micro businesses that will suffer the most. Supporting this campaign is a truly great way to help them – simply share your stories using #StockUpSmall, nominate your local favourites and they’ll be added to the list. #StockUpSmall will help spread the word about what these businesses have to offer.”

#StockUpSmall

Joe and Andrew both took it upon themselves to do something within their community, to let consumers know about the smaller brands that are still open for business despite the crisis.

Many businesses are adapting to the current climate by changing their business models, as well as offering deals, discounts and local deliveries. Though the campaign began in the Manchester’s food and drink community it’s spread quickly across the UK, with businesses in London, Ireland and Scotland taking place.

Among them are Pollen + Grace, a healthy food box business that usually provides fresh breakfasts and lunches to the offices in Canary Wharf. Faced by an 80% reduction in retail revenue, founders Stephanie Johnson and Kristina Komlosiova looked to make the most of the direct-to-door demand.

“We’ve basically turned the business into what it was in the beginning,” says Kristina. “We’ve started delivering to homes again which is exciting. We usually produce tons of food which often goes onto a shelf in a supermarket, but with this we really get to interact with customers again. #StockUpSmall could help create a wonderful legacy that could impact not just the food industry, but other industries too. Hopefully consumer habits start to change, and, after this, people are slightly more aware of smaller businesses.”

What can you do to help?

If you own a small business and would like to raise awareness of it, then sign up below to be added to the #StockUpSmall directory. Alternatively, if you just want to add some of your favourites then feel free to sign them up too.

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Dan is part of the content team at iwoca. He writes articles explaining financial topics, as well as guides on the best support for small businesses during coronavirus.

Article updated on: 18 June 2020

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