Save The High Street, an organisation that aims to support local retailers with tools, skills, and digital capabilities, is launching a 12-week COVID-19 support programme to help those struggling with the impact of COVID-19.
The pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to the already struggling UK high street, with the government last week ordering the closure of all ‘non-essential’ stores across the country in an effort to slow its spread.
Throughout March and April, Save The High Street has spearheaded a research project with input from dozens of high street business owners and industry experts to find out what they can do to succeed during these difficult times. Now, the organisation is launching an end-to-end COVID-19 support programme to help local businesses do just that.
The organisation will work closely with select companies for 12 weeks to develop and implement personalised plans, and will offer help in areas such as negotiating with landlords and suppliers; setting up and optimising e-commerce sites; applying for grants and loans; offering local delivery and hosting virtual events, and helping develop new forms of community engagement and digital marketing.
Save The High Street said it will be using its digital assistant app called Jo to ensure the support can be delivered remotely and affordably across the UK. Local businesses based in the UK can register for the programme at JoinJo.com.
Additionally, the organisation will be launching an email newsletter to keep recipients up-to-date with all the latest tips and strategies concerning the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation.
According to Save The High Street, approximately 500,000 high street outlets across 7,500 high streets should now be implementing plans to survive during the pandemic, though 50 per cent of them are currently unprepared to achieve the transition plan on their own.
Alex Schlagman, a founding partner of Save The High Street, said in a statement:
“The high street will never be the same again, but it is not dead. Diverse, successful high streets benefit us all and to ensure that future, we will need an army of successful local independents. The SaveTheHighStreet.org Covid-19 support programme exists to ensure every local business in the UK has the best chance of success through these unprecedented times.”