Supporting local businesses is more important than ever right now. Many small businesses that haven’t perhaps needed to be on top of technology have had to adjust and adapt without much time to think about it, let alone to test what works best, but one thing is for sure you learn pretty quickly as you go along.
We asked some local businesses in and around Fareham what they’ve had to do to adjust to the new covid market.
With a drop in usual trade due to more people working from home, Trenchers Deli in Whiteley have diversified their business by offering breakfast and lunch deliveries to people’s houses within the local area, and have adapted their menu to appeal to a wider audience. The Horse & Jockey Pub and Restaurant have used lockdown as a time to make improvements to their premises as well as having diversified business by offering a new takeaway service.
Co-owner Amanda Pilcher of Alexanda’s restaurant in Deacons boat yard said:
…When the first lockdown in March happened, I was determined to survive. So we turned into a shop. We were supporting all our locals of Bursledon and surrounding areas. As no one felt safe going to a supermarket. We had huge support from the local community and we did our best to get what they wanted. With the second lockdown it’s a struggle but we are doing the best we can, everyone in the leisure industry is in the same boat!
Nicky French from Locksheath Cleaners completed a covid course to keep up to date with changing legislation to provide safety for her customers and to keep them happy, whilst shoe shop owner Amanda Kent from Solent Shoes has been volunteering with Porchester Community Association helping to deliver hot meals to local residents who are currently not available to access their hot lunch clubs. She says: ‘The local community have been very supportive to her since she opened her shoe shop two years ago so she wanted to give something back to the community whilst trying to survive the lock down.’
Becky from Your Digital Assistant says:
I’ve had to really prioritise marketing in a way I didn’t have to before. When lockdown first hit I lost all of the clients that I had lined up which was a scary position to be in! For me it’s focusing on LinkedIn, showing up every day, posting regular content and engaging with others on there. That’s helped me focus on creating relationships with people and work has come from those as a result rather than just looking for a quick booking.
Caroline Doyle from Locks Heath Hypnotherapy & Counselling explains she completed an accreditation to enable long term online work with clients during lockdown. She has also expanded her offering of accessible affordable therapy so clients are not excluded or marginalised due to cost.
It’s wonderfully inspiring to see how entrepreneurial, spirited and adaptable our local community are. One positive of this tough covid climate is that we often focus more on the ‘here and now’ and appreciate what a special local area Fareham is.
We’ll be writing regular community themed blogs involving local businesses, if you’d like a mention please contact us.