Independent business insights – ways to innovate and keep smiling

The UK economy has suffered it’s largest annual fall in modern records during 2020. Small independent businesses and shops had been particularly affected by the lack of passing footfall in 2020. Who else better to talk about how to succeed in our current economy than our very own Head Honcho, Paul Jarman, Creased business owner.

Paul has managed to keep our small independent business afloat during the lockdown despite having to close Creased physical store in the Brighton Lanes. How has he done this? The government’s flexible furlough scheme, shifting business online to a digital webstore and agile team management. This and more has helped Paul to deliver great customer service and brilliantly different cards and gifts business despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Watch Creased on Sky News

We are delighted that Paul had joined Sky News reporter Gillian Joseph live on air at 8.30am 12.12.21. He discussed his views, insights and optimism of small business ownership during times of economic uncertainty.

How Creased has responded to impacts of coronavirus as a small independent business

At Creased we have been able to employ a flexible furlough scheme which subsidises the wage of our team. This scheme has been a lifesaver for small independent business like ours. The Chancellor Mr Rishi Sunak, has announced some good news for businesses like ours. As we hoped the furlough scheme would be extended, it is – from March to April 2021.

Despite being busy fulfilling webstore orders, we have had extra time on our hands due to closure of all-non essential retail stores in lockdown. During that time we’ve been hard at work developing a brand new website. We aren’t just talking about a few new homepage images or extra occasions list though…

Our new website has a whole suite of new features to enable you to have the full ‘Creased service’ from wherever you are browsing the store. Recommendations on cards based on your past purchases. A super streamlined checkout process. An exciting new loyalty scheme houses an e-wallet with free ‘Creased coins’ to spend across our entire selection. In short it’s the same brilliant shopping experience from our physical store, realised within a virtual hub. Our new site will go fully live within the next couple of months – we can’t wait.

What the Chancellor says

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce the next UK budget on 3rd March 2021. He said it will “set out the next phase of the plan to tackle the virus and protect jobs”.

We are still trying to smile at Creased, despite official forecasts being predicted as the biggest economic decline in 300 years. We are told the UK’s national income has shrunk by 11.3% in 2020. Apparently, it won’t return to pre-crisis levels until the end of 2022. Unemployment is increasing to 2.6 million, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility. Our heart really goes out to those affected to job losses at such a difficult time. It’s safe to say we at Creased are glad to be in a job – it’s a bonus that we get to chuckle at our brilliantly funny cards.

Mr Sunak warned that “our economic emergency has only just begun.”. However, we are still remaining optimistic at Creased. Even thought Rishi admits that “the situation is clearly unsustainable over the medium term.”. At Creased we are trying our best to continue to provide our brilliant customers with a quality during these uncertain times. We hope you remain understanding to small independent business pressures and continue to support us. We are all in this together.

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