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Despite the uncertainty surrounding the small business community at present, due to the lockdown restrictions and the social distancing measures, FSB data suggests that small business owners are displaying a selfless attitude towards their local areas.

Almost three-fifths (57%) of small firms are undertaking community-based roles to support residents affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Meanwhile almost a quarter (23%) have turned their attentions to giving key workers the care they need by suppling Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and even offering accommodation.

A further 24% have made donations to local foods backs and almost a third (30%) have made conscious efforts to prioritise vulnerable customers with orders and deliveries.

The coronavirus crisis has also demonstrated the agility and innovation of many entrepreneurs across the UK. Many of whom have sought to alter their business models and practices, as well as the goods and services they sell.

One-in-ten small businesses have introduced new services, while 16% have ramped up their online presence to seek digital orders from consumers staying at home or shielding.

Mike Cherry, National Chair, FSB, said: “Small firms have long been the champions of innovating, adapting and engaging with others especially during difficult periods, and the current situation is no exception.

“Right across the country, we are seeing countless acts of kindness, volunteers and community efforts on display from small businesses and the self-employed, helping each other to survive, recover and thrive.

“Small businesses have introduced new creative solutions and frugally innovated to keep afloat and help others at this critical time. They have developed a wide range of innovative marketing strategies to provide their products and services during the lockdown.

“Small businesses remain the backbone of the economy, pillars of local communities and crucial outlets of support.

“Government support has ensured that many of these businesses can either continue to trade in some way or pick up where they left off after the crisis. That’s why it’s more important than ever to support our small businesses wherever possible.”

If your small business has invested time and money into research and innovation to find better ways of serving your local community at this difficult time, your firm could be eligible for research and development (R&D) tax relief.

Providing you can evidence an attempt to achieve an advance in science or technology in your line of work, you may be able to claim back an additional £1.30 of R&D tax relief for every £1 of qualifying expenditure.

This can be used to offset against taxable profits and is even available to loss-making companies too.

For a free initial consultation on your R&D situation, call our friendly, experienced team today on 0800 0523 555 or drop us a line using our online enquiry form.

For our latest COVID-19 news and guidance for your business, visit our dedicated Coronavirus Hub.
We will be updating it regularly as we continue to monitor and digest all the latest information

Date published 19 Jun 2020 | Last updated 28 Nov 2023

Fraser McKay, MCIPR (Accredited)

Fraser is a highly experienced journalist and Accredited PR Professional and joined TaxAssist in 2016. He writes articles covering a wide range of topics relating to small businesses and accounting. In addition, Fraser provides communications training to the network, as well as looking after TaxAssist Accountants' national and local social media channels.

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