As we reach the end of the firebreak lockdown, thousands of businesses that have been required to close for the last 17 days are now reopening.
The firebreak rules have been replaced by a new national set of restrictions that apply equally across Wales.
FSB Wales is today urging all people to think about how they can support Wales’ smaller businesses as they reopen today. Two thirds of local jobs are supported by SMEs in Wales, and there has never been a more critical time for us to think about how we can support smaller firms.
Here are 5 ways that we can all support small firms as we come out of the firebreak:
Shop small and local this Christmas
Making a small business Christmas shopping list will have a huge impact on our local communities, as well as giving us all the opportunity to give unique gifts this year that can’t be found everywhere on the high street.
Visit independent pubs, restaurants and cafes
Thousands of hospitality businesses were required to close for many months of this year and as such will be hoping for a good run-up to Christmas. By safely eating or drinking out at independent cafes, pubs and restaurants we help ensure that these unique, often family-run businesses will still be a part of our communities into 2021.
Be supportive to the hospitality venues that you visit
Under the post-firebreak rules hospitality firms will be required to take some information from you on booking, both to support track and trace efforts and ensure that they are compliant with Welsh Government regulations on allowing adults from 4 households to meet in hospitality venues. It may be required that some adults provide proof of their address – so please help our small hospitality firms to comply with regulations and bring proof of address when necessary, wear a mask in settings where it is required and be courteous to the staff who will be working incredibly hard to keep us all safe as we adjust to the new regulations.
Review, share posts and tell your friends
If you’ve had a great experience with a small business – share the love and leave a review and tell your friends. Many businesses rely on word-of-mouth trade and it will make up a huge source of business. If you’re not able to spend money at the moment then that’s fine, too. Sharing social media posts will help businesses expand their reach and find new customers.
Stay with small Welsh tourism firms when travelling around the country
If you’re travelling around Wales there are many opportunities to support small tourism firms – by looking for a SME accommodation provider or visiting some of Wales’ unique attractions.
Ben Francis, FSB Wales Policy Chair, said:
“We would urge everyone to think about how they can safely support small firms over the coming months. SMEs stepped up to support our communities earlier this year and have played their part by closing to reduce the spread of the Virus in this year’s lockdowns. However, many have faced a more difficult time in 2020 than they could have ever imagined. By choosing to spend your money locally and with an independent firm you are supporting jobs in your local community and helping an innovative business to survive.”