Global Matters

Supporting small businesses as they adapt to a new normal

By Jeni Mundy , Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Visa

May 21,2020 11:31 AM GMT
Jeni Mundy

Visa is working with industry partners to offer small businesses support during this critical time

As founders of Free Range Kids, a food service business supplying homemade meals to nurseries, Ian McInally and Anthony Ioannou faced a difficult challenge. With nurseries closed because of COVID-19, and parents having to cater more meals for their children, Anthony and Ian needed to adapt their offering to be able to continue serving the local community.

Luckily, they found ShopAppy.com - a smart platform, backed by Visa, connecting consumers to the small businesses in their local communities. Ian and Anthony decided to sell home sized portions through ShopAppy.com to families in their local community looking for nutritious meals for kids. After just a few days of using the platform, they had already sold 300 meals. The decision to sell online has allowed them to continue trading during lockdown which has also meant they were able to donate back some of their earnings to charity and their local community. 

This is just one example of how thousands of businesses across the UK are adapting to the extraordinary economic challenges brought on by COVID-19, with many having to shut down their bricks and mortar storefronts. Small businesses play a vital role in our communities from providing employment to acting as drivers of both local and national economies. In this time of crisis, they need our support more than ever.

At Visa, we’re determined to play our part in working with SMEs so they can adapt and bounce back even stronger. Helping small businesses get online has been a particular focus for us as it is a simple way for many businesses to continue selling, bringing in vital income at this critical time.

Moreover, businesses with a digital presence are likely to find it easier to recover from the economic shock of COVID-19, as more consumers become familiar with buying from websites and mobile apps and continue to look online for products and services even after restrictions are lifted.

However, moving from bricks to clicks can be a daunting step and time-consuming process for resource-strapped small businesses with many not knowing how or where to start. That is where online marketplaces like ShopAppy.com can really help business owners, offering a quick, easy way to build a digital presence and continue to reach their customers.

As a global network, we have the advantage of working closely with partners, platforms and marketplaces of all sizes, many of whom are uniquely placed to reach even the smallest of businesses and help them get online. This is why, since the start of the crisis, we’ve been working tirelessly to enable and support these partners scale up and expand their offering to reach more independent businesses and high streets across the UK.

One such example is our partnership with Deliveroo, the award-winning delivery platform helping restaurants move their dine-in services online. With our support, thousands of small restaurants will be able to move into offering takeaway services to local customers, complete with contact-free deliveries through Deliveroo’s mobile app, without having to pay the onboarding fees.  

We all know the value that small businesses bring to our local economies. Working with partners like Deliveroo and ShopAppy, Visa is committed to ensuring that across the UK, businesses like Free Range Kids, are able to navigate their way through the current environment and get back to doing what they do best.

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