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During November’s lockdown, thousands of small businesses around the country will be forced to close their doors once again. Whilst this is a huge blow to companies, there are still ways they can keep going. In the wake of the first national lockdown, one in seven enhanced their online offering or established a web presence for the first time, according to the Federation of Small Businesses. We’d encourage all shoppers to please consider your local small businesses as first port of call over the coming weeks. Go on their websites, check their social media and give them a buzz to see how you can support. They need you now more than ever. Mike Cherry – FSB Chirag Shah, chief executive of Nucleus Commercial Finance, said: ‘With more uncertain times ahead, keeping British businesses afloat will be front of mind for many. ‘Customers are facing the same uncertainties, but still have important purchase power – especially as we approach what is normally a busy time of year for many small businesses: Christmas. ‘We can all pledge to “shop small” and buy from independent retailers, treat friends or family to a voucher for an independent pub or restaurant and champion our local businesses by engaging with them on social media and leaving reviews.’ Mike Cherry, National Chairman of FSB, added: ‘Since March, small businesses have been working hard to put safety measures in place and adapt their business models. ‘Small firms are resilient and – having spent large sums on making their premises safe – are now investing to ensure they can keep trading through the critical festive period. ‘We’d encourage all shoppers to please consider your local small businesses as first port of call over the coming weeks. ‘Go on their websites, check their social media and give them a buzz to see how you can support. They need you now more than ever. ‘Equally, we’re calling on all online marketplaces and delivery apps to treat their small business customers fairly. Doing so will be to the benefit of all in the long term.’ Emma Jones, founder of small business support network, Enterprise Nation, said: ‘We’ve seen a massive shift to people making an effort to support their local small businesses since March. ‘With Christmas approaching and many small firms closed during the most important trading period of the year, supporting them has never been more important. ‘Lockdown has also accelerated the uptake of digital technology and you will find many more of your local traders online. ‘Many have already adapted to offer takeaway or delivery services and some offer timed slots where you can pick up food items and drinks safely.’

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