Research from Barclaycard, which sees nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, reveals that community spirit and support for local businesses is flourishing amidst the challenging circumstances brought about by coronavirus.
The findings show that four in 10 (41 per cent) Brits have checked in on vulnerable neighbours to see if they need help with shopping – a figure that increases to 48 per cent for stereotypically reserved Londoners.
What’s more, 71 per cent say they have made a conscious effort not to leave others empty-handed by being mindful to not stockpile food.
When it comes to supporting local communities, over half (55 per cent) of Brits want to increase their support of nearby businesses as a result of the lockdown – primarily by visiting local shops and markets when they can do so again. Respondents in Edinburgh are the most likely to feel this way, with 65 per cent of residents in the Scottish capital planning to focus more of their spending locally.
Despite the challenges facing retailers, Barclaycard’s recent Consumer Spending Index – which compares consumer spending year-on-year – showed some relief for small businesses. Specialist food and drink stores, such as off licences and greengrocers, saw spend grow by 30.5 per cent in March as the nation chose to buy locally and support independent businesses.
Top five ways Brits will support local businesses once lockdown measures are eased:
1.Visit more local independent/specialist shops
2.Visit local farmers’ markets or craft fairs more often
3.Use local tradespeople (e.g. plumbers, builders) over bigger companies
4.Use independent local services (hairdressers, nail bars, etc.) more often
5.Recommend local shops, pubs and restaurants to friends and family
Esme Harwood, Director at Barclaycard, said: “It’s heartening to see how the nation is coming together to support each other and their communities, with Brits looking out for their neighbours and showing more desire to shop locally. Retailers are adapting to this demand too, from restaurant suppliers selling straight to customers, to bricks-and-mortar stores rapidly moving online. The appetite from shoppers is clearly there, which bodes well for smaller and independent stores when we see the social distancing measures start to ease.”