Today, Save The High Street has launched the first end-to-end COVID-19 support programme for the 200,000+ local business owners struggling across the UK.
COVID-19 has caused unprecedented disruption to the UK high street economy, as only businesses in the Government’s essential categories can open as normal, leaving thousands of high streets across the UK to turn into ghost towns.
The Government has responded with the most substantial package of financial support in the history of the high street.
Approximate data representing the total UK market estimates 500,000 high street outlets across 7,500 high streets will need to create a plan to survive, adapt and continue serving their local communities, during and after the lockdowns.
With over 50% of UK high street outlets being run by independent business owners without the skills, experience or resources, Save The High Street has recognised the need for a support programme that is designed to help local businesses survive
Throughout March 2020, Save The High Street led an intensive research project, with input from dozens of high street business owners and industry experts, to answer the question: ‘What can high street businesses and community champions do to succeed on the Coronavirus-era high street?’.
As part of the support programme, Save The High Street will work closely with every business for 12 weeks to develop and implement a personalised plan, considering everything they could be doing to protect, adapt and grow their business in 2020, including:
- Offering local delivery to hosting virtual events
- New forms of community engagement to all forms of digital marketing
- Negotiating with landlords to negotiating with suppliers
- Setting up an ecommerce site to optimising ecommerce sales
- Applying for grants to applying for loans
- New ways of working to new products and services
- Being there for customers today to preparing for opportunities post-lockdown
Alex Schlagman, a Founding Partner of Save The High Street comments: “The high street will never be the same again, but it is not dead. Diverse, successful high streets benefit us all and to ensure that future, we will need an army of successful local independents.
“The SaveTheHighStreet.org COVID-19 support programme exists to ensure every local business in the UK has the best chance of success through these unprecedented times.”
Local businesses based in the UK can register for the 12 week programme at JoinJo.com.