Today is ‘Freedom Day’ in England and Wales & Scotland are following soon. This means so many different things for everyone and involves lots of personal choices as people begin to navigate what life will be for them from now on.
There is another story here too. The impact of Freedom Day on small & micro business and their owners.
They have a unique challenge to personally manage the expectations and aspirations of their customers with little information other than straw polls and ‘gut feeling’. I have spoken with so many micro business owners in the last week who are working through their next steps with anxiety, with conviction and with some wobbly confidence.
Should they open everything up and go back to pre 2020 standards or should they maintain their Covid protocols? How do they manage the tension between those who want to wear masks and those who don’t? They also have a huge responsibility to safeguard their employees and volunteers.
It’s a lot.
This brings me to the reason that I write this today and that it to be kind.
Big business have lawyers, experts, data and many people to help make a decision. Small, micro business owners are making these decisions alone.
What can we do?
I hope that we can remember that it was small and micro business that were there for us in the most locked down times. It has been small and micro business who have been at the heart of community activity and cohesion. These same businesses need our support, perhaps more than ever. Here are some pointers:
Offer your positive feedback on social media – reviews, comments and sharing really helps.
If you’re concerned, offer your constructive feedback privately with owners to help them continue to gauge the feelings of their customers.
Use micro businesses first! Whether you’re buying products or services let’s go through this stage supporting the hearts of our communities.
Be patient and remember that there are micro business owners who are clinically vulnerable or are managing their own personal situations as well as their businesses.
Finally, I want to reiterate what I have been saying throughout the last 18 months. We now have an opportunity to build a Britain that is the one that supports everyone’s futures. Micro business plays a huge part in this. Making up 96% of all private business in the UK, it provides employment for millions, provides flexible working to help owners build lives they love, provides exceptional and personalised quality and of course has people, places and planet at its heart.