New figures from Amaiz, the small business banking app, have highlighted the extraordinary ingenuity and resilience of the UK’s small businesses. Two thirds have reported that they’ve changed how they do business and half believe they’ve improved as a result of the pandemic. 34% said they wouldn’t have survived without making the change.
Small businesses are recognised as the backbone of the British economy and account for three fifths of employment and around half of turnover. However, their size means that they are able to pivot far more quickly than larger businesses. The research demonstrates just how critical that agility has been over the last few months.
Steve Taklalsingh, Managing Director UK Business Banking at Amaiz commented; “Small businesses are unrecognised heroes of the pandemic. These are hardworking people, wholly reliant on their own resources who, when faced with an unprecedented challenge, didn’t give up, they worked hard and used all their ingenuity to survive. As a result of their efforts, there are millions of people across the UK who still have jobs to go to.”
ONS figures show that the UK economy is officially in a recession, after a second quarter of contraction. However, there are already signs of a bounce back with a 8.7% rise in GDP in June, as the lockdown was lifted. Small business owners are likely to have played a large part in that bounce back.
Unlike previous recessions, this one had been expected and small businesses adapted to prepare themselves for it. One such business owner is Kate Tompsett who established Happy and Glorious online over 8 years ago, and a shop in Cranbrook in Kent, five years ago. Kate could see that the shutdown was inevitable and started to plan for it in February by focussing again on her neglected website. When the lockdown came, it paid off and she saw a 300% increase in sales there, which amounted to 50% of her normal income during May and June.
One thing that impressed Kate was the loyalty of local customers; there were new customers on the website from some distance away, but many of her online customers she knew by name, they had simply switched to online during the lockdown.
Kate commented; “I believe that the pandemic has made people more loyal to small local businesses and to British made goods. I really hope that continues. It would be great for society if it does.”
This view was backed up by Amaiz’s research with two thirds (67%) of small business owners reporting that they feel more valued by their local communities since the lockdown.
Steve concluded, “If it wasn’t for the brilliance of small business owners, like Kate, we would now be in deeper recession; we would not have seen the bounce back in June. I, for one, would like to thank them. Many local communities have also recognised this. I hope larger corporations and the government will do the same.”
The Amaiz banking app was launched in March 2020, just before the pandemic, and helps small businesses by combining banking with bookkeeping. The premium account is available at £9.99 per month. However, there is a free version that charges just 20p per outgoing transaction. The app comes with numerous unique features that make it possible for business owners to manage their bookkeeping quickly and easily between customers. There is also the option to include a contactless card reader for a low set up fee and transaction charge. To set up their account a business owner simply has to download the app then prove their ID and their right to work in the UK. There is no credit check so the process can be done at home very quickly.