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How businesses are changing in response to the COVID-19 crisis banner

How businesses are changing in response to the COVID-19 crisis

There’s no denying that we’re living in strange and uncertain times right now. Businesses across the country, and the world, are wondering how they will survive. But necessity is the mother of invention, and so we are seeing innovative businesses rising to the challenge and taking action to adapt and not just survive, but thrive.

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Changing target market

Many businesses have sadly had to close which sends ripples down the whole supply chain. Notably, the hospitality industry has been massively affected. We've seen an increase in traditional trade suppliers shifting to supply direct to the public, which is not only keeping their businesses going but is also helping communities through the supply of vital supplies at this difficult time.

Forging new partnerships

We are all in this together and in order to survive, we need to help each other as much as possible. As discussed above, many small businesses are following this approach and forming cooperatives and partnerships with other businesses to help them all survive. For example, Sheffield Food Producers Collective, a small group of some of Sheffield’s finest food producers, have come together to deliver their products (contact-free) direct to people’s doorsteps. And nationally, the ‘VentilatorChallengeUK’ consortium saw major UK industrial, technology and engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors come together to produce much-needed ventilators.


Now is the time to change. A recent #BeBrilliant webinar heard motivational speaker Luke Staton say, “now is the time to focus on what you CAN do, not what you CAN'T do”. And we are seeing many businesses do just that, particularly here in Sheffield where we are a resilient bunch! City taxis are one such local company that due to seeing their usual business all but stop, looked at the current situation and spotted an opportunity to diversify. They launched the ‘City Grab’ app, allowing people to order products from local food and retail businesses, which City taxis then deliver to them. At a time when we are all being told to stay home, being able to bring local businesses products directly to their customers’ doorsteps is a powerful step forward in the fight against economic disaster in the wake of the pandemic.

Change your offering

Think about your skills and your facilities and consider how else you could put them to good use. A great example of this is in the manufacturing and engineering sector, where companies have taken up the call to help design and produce vital respirators. We’ve even seen cases of local school design technology teachers using their skills, facilities and materials to help produce PPE for the NHS and care workers. One example is Bradfield School, which, along with neighbouring schools Tapton Academy TrustForge Valley and Chaucer, have been producing thousands of face shields every day.

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