I’ve been a small business advocate for well over three decades now, but, it is incredibly heartening to learn just how valued small businesses are across the UK in the wake of COVID-19. 

A new study released today highlights the outpouring of goodwill towards small businesses that has only grown in the UK since the pandemic began, and reinforces society’s dependence on them.

The community spirit we’ve experienced since lockdowns began has translated to consumers choosing to support their own local businesses. The findings show that 66% of consumers in the UK have pledged to buy more from small firms locally.

That support will be music to the ears of businesses like Manze’s Pie and Mash, where hungry punters have been lining up to buy handcrafted pies, green liquor and eels for more than a century.

With three branches across greater London, Manze’s is a stalwart in its local

At Xero, we’re doing all we can to help small businesses and their advisors to navigate these incredibly difficult business conditions. We’re all facing uncertainty at the moment, and we know many small business owners are looking for accurate information, practical tips and advice. 

To find out more about the impact of the pandemic on small businesses and identify the strategies that have proven successful in mitigating some of the impacts of COVID-19, we commissioned Forrester Consulting to investigate. This week, we launched their findings in a study called The next chapter for small business: How to thrive in a changed world.

The study is the result of over 2,000 surveys with small business owners and consumers across six countries: Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the U.S. and the UK. Ten in-depth interviews with SMBs were also conducted. It gets to the heart of what’s hurting small businesses right

Kristen Buttress started up her ice cream business, Kristen’s Kick Ass Ice Cream, with a mission to be the little community scoop shop where everyone feels welcome. The brand has stores in Noordhoek, Constantia (near Cape Town) and a tropical outpost on the island of Mauritius.

When COVID-19 hit, she had to adapt the business to changing consumer behaviour by building a solid online presence and introducing home delivery services. We spoke to her as part of our annual State of South African small business report – and here’s what Kristen told us… 

How are you finding the impact of COVID-19 on your business and the industry as a whole?

I have been lucky in that both of my shop locations are in open air destinations, so thankfully my foot traffic has not changed much with customers wanting to be out but with the safety of space and fresh

This week we’re launching our annual State of South African small business report. It focuses on the trends set to shape small business recovery and how technology will be key to driving growth in the future.

2020 has been a year like no other and it’s been a particularly tough time for small businesses. We spoke to a number of business owners as we were putting the report together about how they’ve been adapting. This period has revealed a radical new approach to work and to running businesses, proving that we can always find ways to adapt to any situation we face. 

One organisation we spoke to was the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation. Pivoting to go digital during lockdown meant they could still educate and inspire children in South Africa and further afield. 

Here’s more from their Chief Executive Officer, Maryke Musson… 

What does your organisation aim

The posts in this series have been drawn from Xero’s Stronger and smarter: a small business handbook. Designed to help small businesses determine which steps to take next, this practical guide uncovers the 10 trends shaping the future – so you can come back stronger and smarter than ever.

Melbourne-based boutique gifting company Bindle grew from being a small, home-based business to a thriving enterprise thanks to a key point of difference: it only sells products grown, made and sourced in Australia. With an expanding contingent of consumers now keen to buy local, Bindle is poised to provide them with exactly what they are looking for.

Catherine Blackford knew her business was more than a side hustle when she found herself catching a Maxi Taxi to the post office to ship orders before heading to her day job as an analyst at the Parliament of Victoria.

“Bindle started as

As we continue to live with the impacts of the global pandemic, small businesses across different regions and industries in New Zealand have fared differently. Through Xero’s Small Business Insights (SBI), we’re able to see trends in revenue and employment, and paint an accurate picture of the New Zealand small business economy using real data.

Revenue largely steady nationwide

The latest Xero SBI data for August shows New Zealand small business revenue continued to grow (up 4%), despite the second lockdown in Auckland. This marks the third consecutive month of positive revenue growth for the small business sector. 

In Auckland, the second lockdown had an impact though, causing small business revenue to drop to -4.4% year-on-year. Queenstown also remains heavily impacted by border closures, resulting in revenue down -10.8%. However,  it was encouraging that all other regions saw their revenue increase year-on-year. 

Many industries also saw an increase in