• High rents and competition from large corporations contribute to local businesses’ struggles in the UK.
• Decreasing consumer confidence due to Brexit and the pandemic has further reduced sales for many businesses.
• Many local businesses lack an adequate digital presence, making them increasingly uncompetitive in today’s market.
• Inadequate government support has left many businesses needing more substantial assistance.
• Communities can help local businesses by building an online community, providing access to resources, and buying local.
The UK has a vibrant economy, but it’s no secret that many local businesses are struggling. In many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated longstanding issues, and the future remains uncertain. Here are some insights into why local businesses in the UK are struggling and what communities can do to improve the situation.
Local Businesses Closure in 2022
It’s estimated that about 50 shops close daily in the UK. These closures have affected the economy and the surrounding communities, as many of these stores are essential for day-to-day life.
One of the main factors contributing to the struggles of local businesses in the UK is high rent prices. Cities like London and Manchester have seen a sharp rise in rents over the years, and it has become increasingly difficult for businesses to keep up with these costs.
Coupled with the trend of many consumers turning to online shopping, the burden of high rent has made it a daunting task for many businesses to stay afloat. Moreover, with the pandemic forcing the temporary closure of premises, such high rents are proving fatal for many businesses.
Decreasing Consumer Confidence
Another reason why local businesses are facing struggles is because of the decreasing consumer confidence. Some of this has been due to economic uncertainty following Brexit, particularly about supply chains and trade agreements.
Then the pandemic happened, further fueling skepticism and mounting public health concerns. With reduced consumer confidence, it’s unsurprising that many businesses struggle as they face declining sales and revenue.
Inadequate Digital Presence
Many local small businesses in the UK have an insufficient digital presence for the modern world. With consumers relying increasingly on online shopping and contactless payments, businesses with an effective digital presence have gained an edge in the market. Unfortunately, many local businesses are still understanding and catching up to the importance of a digital presence to remain competitive in the current market.
Competition From Large Corporations
Large corporations like Amazon, supermarkets, and clothing businesses have been intensifying competition in the market with their superior logistics and economies of scale. Small businesses are struggling to match this type of competitiveness as they lack the budget and resources of these large corporations. As a result, many local businesses are being pushed out of the market, further eroding the already precarious grip of local businesses.
Inadequate Government Support
Finally, as the government has been slow to respond promptly to local businesses’ situation, many entrepreneurs are feeling let down. Even though the government has implemented safety nets by introducing various schemes, it failed to consider that the schemes will take a long time to have any meaningful impact. Unfortunately, the timeliness of this support has left many businesses needing more substantial support.
How Can Your Community Help?
Your community can support local businesses in many ways. Here are just a few ideas:
Build an Online Community
An online community can do wonders for local businesses. It gives customers an easy way to find and connect with local businesses and helps build a sense of community for the business owners. Consider utilizing reliable online community-building programs for this. These programs can be used to promote local businesses and allow customers to ask questions, give reviews, and share their experiences with the business.
Provide Access to Resources
Organize or provide access to resources that can help small businesses navigate the current situation. This could include access to funding, grants, or other forms of support. You could also look into creating mentorship programs that can provide guidance and knowledge to local entrepreneurs as they navigate the market.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth can be an effective way to support local businesses. Encourage your community to share their experiences with the business and spread positive news about them. This could increase awareness and drive more customers to the business.
Finally, remember that small businesses need customers too. Consider supporting your local businesses by buying from them rather than relying on supermarkets or large corporations. Buying local help stimulate your community’s economy and supports those in need.
Local businesses in the UK are struggling due to various factors. If your community can come together and support these businesses, it can go a long way toward improving their fortunes and helping them thrive.