With the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown threatening the very survival of thousands of small businesses, it’s now more important than ever where you spend your money. High street banks and alternative lenders like Fleximize are working to help businesses financially but support from customers is more crucial than ever.
This is why we’re asking you to support small, local, independent businesses in any way you can. Coronavirus is one of the biggest challenges this country and the small business community has ever had to face. If it’s safe to do so, and you’re financially able to, we encourage you to #shoplocal.
We’ve seen lots of small, local businesses changing how they operate in order to continue trading – from restaurants switching to a delivery service to shops offering contact-free collection for essential purchases.
Although we support businesses across the UK, our roots remain very much in East Anglia. Below, we’ve taken a look at a few independent businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk that are still trading, and how they’ve adapted to business life under lockdown. We’ve also outlined a few business directories which are a great way to find shops, restaurants and others near you that are still open for business.
With its picturesque coastal towns and chocolate box villages, Suffolk has a thriving small business community, including some of the country's best restaurants and food and drink manufacturers.
Shop Suffolk was set up by local businesswoman Nina Christensen to act as a comprehensive directory of local businesses that are still open during the pandemic. With handy filtering tools, Shop Suffolk is the ideal directory to find small businesses close to you.
The Suffolk Business Directory is a complete portal of businesses in Suffolk. Covering everything from professional services to local restaurants, it also has a handy filter to help you find businesses that are delivering food during the pandemic.
Businesses in Suffolk
Big Drop Brewery - Ipswich-based Big Drop Brewery is not only offering drinks that can be purchased online, but also has a weekly virtual pub quiz to keep everyone entertained whilst confined to the sofa.
Thomas Ridley - Thomas Ridley is a food and drink wholesaler business. However, during lockdown, it's helping the general public by allowing them to purchase essential food items without having to visit a big supermarket.
EO Charging - EO Charging is a design and manufacturing business in Suffolk that usually produces electric vehicle charging units for the home. During lockdown the business is also offering online lessons for children on topics such as electricity, energy and the future of electric cars.
Cox Boxes - This family-run Cox Greengrocers stall is usually a feature of Chelmsford and Sudbury markets however, during the coronavirus pandemic, the Cox brothers are delivering their products directly to the doors of their customers.
BMC Cakery - A specialist in artisan bakes and novelty handmade confectionery, BMC Cakery is delivering delicious baked goods to those in and around the Ipswich area.
The Suffolk Distillery - Craft gin specialist The Suffolk Distillery have made their range of hand-crafted spirits, which are made using local ingredients and a special blend of aromatic botanicals, available online. Until 25 May 2020, you can get 10% off your purchase using the discount code "flex". (This offer is available to over 18's only. Please drink responsibly.)
With its quaint market towns, coastal retreats and thriving Norwich city centre, Norfolk is usually a buzzing hive of SMEs. During lockdown, however, many have adapted and are now delivering to customers, or offering contactless collection
Buy Local Norfolk is a social enterprise designed to outline all the independent services that are local to Norfolk. It covers everything from shopping boutiques to local IT services.
All things Norfolk is a local guide that is usually full of events and news to keep residents and holidaymakers entertained. The website also offers a directory of businesses that are open and trading online within Norfolk.
Community Grocery Delivery is a directory that lists businesses offering grocery deliveries in Norfolk and Suffolk during lockdown. It also covers businesses that don’t have an ecommerce website that are still delivering.
Businesses in Norfolk
Two Magpies Bakery - With shops in both Norfolk and Suffolk, Two Magpies Bakery is offering a click and collect service for their goods to keep locals supplied with freshly baked breads and cakes. Simply order online, select which shop you would like to collect from and enjoy your delicious treats.
Gurneys Fish Shop - Gurney Fishmongers is offering contactless collection and local delivery of fish from the Norfolk coast. Offering a range of different products, along with fresh fish, you will find smoked pates, soups and full meals at the Norfolk fishmongers.
Bullards Gin - Bullards Gin has introduced a contact-free letterbox gin service, which includes an eco-refill pouch of gin to keep you going throughout lockdown. The team have also started to make hand sanitisers to keep local key workers safe during the pandemic.
There are over 5 million small businesses in the UK and many of them are still trading. It’s now more important than ever to support local businesses.
If you run an independent food and drink business that is still trading, consider adding your business to the Stock Up Small directory, which is also handy resource if you want to find an independent business that will deliver to you.