Posted: Mon 15th Jun 2020
With non-essential retailers reopening in Northern Ireland and England, we want to shine a light on small businesses that are trading during the coronavirus pandemic.
As lockdown measures continue to be eased, Northern Ireland became the first part of the UK to allow retailers selling goods other than essential products to reopen last Friday if they comply with safety guidelines.
Stores across England are allowed to do the same today and thousands of shop doors are opening for the first time since the lockdown was announced on 23 March.
One business reopening this week is independent stationery chain Papersmiths. Founder Sidonie Warren furloughed her staff and single-handedly kept the business running online. She told us her story including how stores which usually welcome up to 30 people at once will be restricted to three or four customers.
Bristol fashion retailer That Thing is also trading on the High Street once again. Founder Joh Rindom has faced many challenges having launched her business in 2008 and she's hoping to overcome the latest stumbling block. The shop is reopening with hand sanitiser by the door, a click and collect service and restrictions on the number of shoppers.
Even though many can now start selling again, we know it's going to be tough for small businesses. Our shopping experience is very different to what it used to be and we don't yet know how many customers will feel comfortable heading back out to their favourite stores.
But we want to help by promoting those companies that are back open and trading safely to encourage people to support small businesses.
And it's not just retailers. We want to shine a light on other entrepreneurs who are trading through the pandemic including online businesses and business advisers.
You can also download a special badge here and here to let customers know you're around. If you use the badge on social media, make sure you use #OpenforBusiness and tag @e_nation on Twitter or Instagram and /enterprisenation on Facebook.
As well as sharing your posts on social media, we'll also look out for the most interesting stories from Enterprise Nation community members and profile them on the website.
We look forward to spreading the word about how Britain's brilliant small companies are #OpenforBusiness.