As lockdown measures begin to be eased, we have started to see more businesses reopening their doors – but not in the same way they did before. In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, businesses in Brighton and Hove have adapted and evolved to survive.
With the announcement of a new grant to support business innovation, we could see many more back on their feet.
Businesses in West Sussex awarded funding to support business innovation
The current economic climate as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has been tough on Brighton and Hove; with a myriad of small and independent businesses, Brighton retailers have been hit hard.
There was, however, positive news for independent businesses in West Sussex recently with the announcement of the Backing Business Grants fund by Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership. The funding will include the entirety of West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, and some areas of Surrey.
The grant comes as a response to the Covid-19 crisis in order to support businesses in adapting and innovating during the pandemic. With an incredible £1 million of funding already granted, over 80 businesses have benefited from the package.
Adapt: delivery services
Many other businesses have adapted by providing delivery services, which has been a popular provision during lockdown. Jordan Mower, owner of UnBarred brewery, has been keeping spirits high with door-step deliveries of his popular beers. Despite the challenges for businesses such as UnBarred at the moment, Mr Mower commented:
“The community has been outstanding in terms of supporting us with buying beers and engaging us with feedback.”
Other businesses amongst those providing a delivery service include The Curry Leaf Café, Bagelman and Small Batch Coffee Roasters. These home deliveries have not only allowed organisations to meet new demands but have also allowed many to keep staff employed.
If you are looking for independent businesses that are delivering during the Covid-19 pandemic, Brighton and Hove Quarantine Delivery have comprised a comprehensive list on their website. It’s categorised by type of business, and details the contact information and services provided by these independent organisations, making it easy for you to discover amenities available to you locally and support your local entrepreneurs.
Innovate: online platforms
Independent businesses have been forced to change their services during the Covid-19 crisis due to the restrictions imposed by the government. Many have taken to online platforms to keep their businesses going; we have seen artists and musicians showcase their work on social media and companies use video streaming for their business needs.
Many local organisations have been seen to be making the most of the internet; Lucky Voice Karaoke has offered one month free to get involved in karaoke online; Komedia Brighton has a range of comedy events that can be accessed online from the comfort of your homes; and Draw Brighton is providing online life drawing classes and tutorials, despite closing their studio.
Evolve: social distancing
Companies are not only having to change the way they do business, but also are under pressure to provide reassurance to customers and clients with regards to social distancing measures. This comes as a necessity to comply with government restrictions and also as a means to remain popular during the pandemic.
Many businesses have adapted to this and have included social distancing messages on their websites, committing to keeping staff and customers safe. As many independent retailers and eateries start to prepare to open their doors, these measures will be crucial.
Weathering the storm
The funding from Coast to Capital is the good news we needed in a tough economic climate and will help to support more businesses make the transition from the pre-Coronavirus status quo to the new normal. Brighton and Hove businesses have been innovative and creative in adapting to the current circumstances and have perhaps changed the way they do business more permanently. The positive news is that many of our well-loved independent businesses will be able to weather the storm; as we climb over the hill of this crisis, we are reminded now more than ever that these small shops and restaurants are what makes Brighton and Hove so special.