With the big supermarkets getting the bulk of the press, you’d be forgiven for forgetting the much smaller local shops. We miss our creature comforts, but finances allowing, we don’t need to miss them all. At LDN Life, it has been the beer deliveries and drive-throughs, local gin producers removing delivery charges and farmers markets setting up click and collect services that have got our attention. Many small businesses have been very adaptive and with local support, they can hopefully get through this crisis. Thankfully, and unsurprisingly we are not alone in our love of small businesses. With iwoca, one of Europe’s largest business lenders, supporting UK-wide initiative #StockUpSmall, to inspire the public to use local businesses.
Launched on Friday 10th April, #StockUpSmall is an opportunity for the public to demonstrate their commitment towards these smaller firms and get their hands on hard to find items such as eggs or tinned tomatoes. Joe Taylor, founder of Real Handful snacks, and Andrew Allen of Biff’s Kitchen, both decided to do something to support smaller brands and encourage small business owners to keep serving their customers during these times. Joe created a social media campaign using the name and hashtag #StockUpSmall, and Andy built a site for smaller brands to show they were still able to deliver products direct to consumers.
iwoca, Real Handful and Biff’s Kitchen are now working hard to raise awareness of the campaign, highlight the role that small businesses can play in this crisis and encourage consumers to look beyond supermarkets. #StockUpSmall allows businesses and the general public to promote and highlight any discounts being offered as well as making it clear that they are still open.
“The demand for major supermarkets has been so strong that they’ll probably do quite well during this crisis,” said 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 and 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.”
“Ultimately, it’s about survival for as many businesses as possible,” said Joe Taylor, founder of Real Handful. “There’ll be a time beyond coronavirus when we all start getting back to shopping as normal – if there’s a way that, in this interim period, our initiative can inspire people to discover small businesses and try new things, then hopefully businesses like Real Handful will still be around after all of this.”
Many small businesses are adapting to the current climate by offering deals, discounts and changing their business models. A wide range of brands are already involved in the campaign such as plant-based meal provider Pollen + Grace, musician marketplace, Encore, London House Plants and Small Beer.
“We’ve basically turned the business into what it was in the beginning,” said Kristina Komlosiova, co-founder of Pollen + Grace. “We started delivering to homes again which is exciting – we usually produce tonnes of food which often just 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.” LDN Life is hoping to catch up with Kristina soon to learn more about what they are doing to help keep London going.
Shop small and tell all your friends!
Members of the public (and business owners themselves) can use this form to sign up any small business to the Stock Up Small directory. iwoca will then send promotional materials to these businesses so that they can share the news with their customers and help spread the word.
So support your local London small businesses and #StockupSmall