UK consumers call for more opportunities to support independent local businesses during the Covid-19 crisis

  • UK consumer survey commissioned by ActLocal.co finds that while 63% of Brits are using local businesses less frequently during lockdown, over half (54%) still want to be able to support them

  • 93% of Brits say it is extremely (63%) or quite (34%) important to support local businesses at this difficult time

  • Millennials aged 25-34 (70%) and Baby Boomers over 65 (68%) are most likely to agree it is extremely important to support local businesses during the crisis

Over half (54%) of UK consumers say they would like to have more opportunities to support their favourite local businesses during the current Covid-19 lockdown, such as being able to purchase vouchers in exchange for future goods and services, according to new research from ActLocal.co and VCCP Ignite.

63% of Brits say they are now using local businesses less frequently than they did before the crisis, with over 65s the most likely to be affected (73%). The survey of 500 UK consumers found that an overwhelming majority (93%) of UK Brits think it is important to support local independent businesses during the current crisis, with most (63%) saying it is extremely important.

Perhaps surprisingly, Millennials and Baby Boomers find common ground as the most enthusiastic supporters of local independent businesses, with 70% of respondents aged 25-34 and 68% of over 65s agreeing it is extremely important to support them during the crisis. Millennials are also by far the most likely age group to say they want more opportunities to support local businesses at this time (70%, against national average of 54%).

In addition, while most 18-44 year olds say they have been able to support their favourite local businesses during the crisis, most over 45s say they have not, pointing to potential generational differences in the way customers engage with local businesses on a day-to-day basis.

“This new research shows that there is a real appetite amongst UK consumers for more opportunities to support their favourite local, independent businesses during the COVID-19 crisis,” says Lars Kroijer, Founder, ActLocal.

“Brits young and old are getting behind the national effort to keep our local high streets and businesses intact, and ready to bounce back after lockdown. By offering a free service for businesses to generate crucial additional income through their loyal customer bases, I hope ActLocal can make a real difference in helping our SMBs in their fight for survival,” he explains.

Nick Huby, Academy Manager at the prestigious Peter Cowen Academy based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, has been working with ActLocal to keep funds coming in since the government’s lockdown announcement in late March.

Huby says: “ActLocal has given me the opportunity to generate additional revenue which has been an absolute lifeline. We’re offering a generous discount for set coaching packages, greatly benefiting our regular customers. This crisis has affected all our customers in different ways, but what it’s shown me is how fantastic and supportive they are. I feel very lucky.”

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