There is no doubt about the effect that the pandemic has had on the world globally. One of the many tragic casualties of the pandemic is small businesses. Smaller businesses have always had to fight hard to keep their place in their specific industry in the corporate world. I have interviewed two Directors, who's businesses have been affected by the pandemic. 

I first interviewed John who owns a small business in Weybridge. I asked him the following questions.

What were your first thoughts about how your business would operate when lockdown was imminent?

'We were fearful about how companies would react and how their budgets would be slashed. Our company's success is based upon companies expanding their teams and growing their work forces.'

What was the immediate impact on your business?

'With the Government directive for everybody to stay home, initially we had to make it possible for staff to work remotely so that they could stay safe and well. Being a small business this wasn't what we were set up for, so initially it was quite difficult. The situation did move quite quickly after that, and we were left with no choice but to furlough our staff.'

How did you feel about furloughing your staff?

'Some of our staff have been with us since the start of our business, so it was a heartbreaking decision to have to make. They all have families, houses and bills to pay, so it is very difficult at this time.'

How do you see things in the future?

'That's a million dollar question! We have taken advantage of the Government schemes and reduced our outgoings as much as possible. We are keeping in contact and continuing to build existing relationships with our customers and hopefully this will see us through to the other side and fingers crossed we can get all our staff back into the office and start driving forward again.'


I then interviewed Jeremy, who's business has been very successful in the leisure and entertainments industry. I asked him the following questions:


How long has your businesses been established and do you operate only in the UK? 

'I am a classical singer and I set up my business back in 2002. I sing with 2 other guys and we work all over the UK, Europe, USA and have also worked in Asia and Australia.'

What immediate affects have you seen since Covid 19? 

'As all of our work involves groups of people coming together to be entertained by us e.g. at concerts, parties, corporate events and on cruise ships, the social distancing restrictions have meant that all of our work has been either cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future.'

Have you been able to make changes to help you through this time? 

'This is our only source of income, so as a result we have no income coming into our business. Also, there isn’t insurance to cover this sort of event happening. The government help offered to the employed and the self-employed doesn’t cover small businesses like ours. It only covers part of how we pay ourselves. To claim this small amount of money means however that I’ve had to “furlough” myself, which means I cannot try and generate any income whatsoever from my business. As a result the only option open to the business has been to apply for help from the bank, in the form of a loan, to help cover the running costs of the business e.g. the insurances and other costs we have to pay just to keep things ticking over. But even if we get this loan, it is not ideal because we still have to pay it back at some point (possibly with interest) and as we don’t know when we will be allowed to work or perform again, this makes it very difficult for us. We could be going into debt with no means of paying it back. On top of this, we don’t have anything to pay ourselves just to live, so I’m trying to work on a freelance basis in the hope of generating some income to live on and pay our personal bills. I’ve started offering masterclasses, personal dedications and online teaching, which is something I’ve always done anyway before I set up my business.

Even though things are uncertain, it is an opportunity to look at alternative ways of working and generating an income. Like many small business owners and entrepreneurs, we have to remain optimistic, adventurous and try out different things, but unfortunately under the current government structure my business could close even with my best efforts.'

These two companies are among many who are being affected by the Gobal Pandemic, that has shocked the world.