Helping small businesses get through Covid-19 – Pay it anyway

So how is this for a random idea? I realised yesterday that I have a hair appointment on 2 April that I’m not going to be able to go to. My husband is in a high risk group. And, according to  the small print in the Public Health England guidance,  so am I.

It looks like we’ll be spending the next few weeks with as little social interaction as possible.

But our income, at least in the short term, isn’t going to be affected by this. Unfortunately, small businesses, especially independent ones face an existential threat. Hospitality and entertainment venues are going to be particularly badly affected.

Our hairdresser has been doing a great job for years. Why shouldn’t I just pay for my haircut anyway?  Same principle if you go to a restaurant that you love regularly.  Why not pay them what you would normally spend while you are sitting at home watching obscure things on Netflix or taking the party up on its offer to keep you out of mischief?  Same with the pub where you might regularly have a couple of pints a few times a week or the coffee shop where you stop for breakfast.

If your income is stable, it’s a relatively easy way to help out.

You could even think about some way to support that wonderful country hotel you love so much., or the campsite which will lose out from tourism.

Another suggestion I’ve seen is that you buy gift vouchers if possible, and look out for ways in which businesses are diversifying. Some restaurants will deliver meals. Some pubs will turn into off-licences.

It’s important to support the small, independent outlets which have served us well so that we have them when this nightmare is over.

Also, anyone who provides me with a service, eg my dog walker, will get paid if they have to self isolate. I think everyone should be paid when they are sick and I don’t want to see anyone lose half a month’s income.

What do you think?

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Laurence Cox 18th Mar '20 - 12:54pm

    A good principle, Caron, and I hope that your hairdresser reciprocates by giving you a free haircut at some time in the future. You could think about it as paying for your haircut in advance.

  • I’m trying to pay my hairdresser in advance but she is flatly refusing. Also trying to pay for Slimming World by direct debit so the consultant can have some income, but again there doesn’t seem to be any way of doing it!

  • Rodney Watts 18th Mar '20 - 8:00pm

    For a random idea, Caron, it’s highly commendable. My wife’s hairdresser was due to come today, but has had to self isolate. My son in law’s pub and eatery has also been affected of course, but hopefully HMG will firm up their proposals of help. I usually do a table top sale in our Community Hall to help raise funds each week, but at 79, even though fitter than many, I am self isolating. Nevertheless I offered to pay the fiver rent, which was turned down flat. (Will miss the banter)

  • Lorenzo Cherin 18th Mar '20 - 8:43pm

    In many senses a credit to Caron, et al !

    A really nice piece. Trust everything is ok with all, self isolating, my wife and I, not in the age group, at all, but what in the way of work we have, from home, writing, researching, in my case, painting, my wife, has got us so concerned, with disability issues too, to do our best to do so as much as we can and are!

  • Sarah Chapman 19th Mar '20 - 10:06am

    For those who can afford to do this it will be a great gesture. Far too many small businesses (and their families) are in for, at the very least, a few bleak months. I’m self employed and things aren’t looking good work wise, but while I have a little buffer I’m paying for those things that I’ve already booked but can’t take up.

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