On Monday 30th March 2020, SaveTheHighStreet.org launched the first end-to-end COVID-19 support programme for 200,000+ local business owners across the UK struggling on the Coronavirus-era high street. 

COVID-19 has caused unprecedented disruption to the UK high street economy. Only businesses in the Government’s ‘essential’ categories can open as normal and thousands of high streets across the UK have been turned into ghost towns.

The high street will never be the same again and the worst-case scenario for the future of the high street is clear for everyone to experience today.

The Government has responded with the most substantial package of financial support in the history of the high street. This support will be necessary but is only one part of the solution.

500,000 high street outlets across 7,500 high streets (approx. data representing total UK market) need to act now; delivering a plan to survive, adapt and continue serving their local communities, during and after the lockdown. Over 50% of UK high street outlets are run by independent business owners without the skills, experience, resources and professional support required to achieve this transition plan on their own.

SaveTheHighStreet.org has taken action to fill this void and provide a critical new layer of support in direct response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Throughout March 2020, SaveTheHighStreet.org led an intensive research project, with input from dozens of high street business owners and industry experts, to answer the question: ‘What can high street businesses and community champions do to succeed on the Coronavirus-era high street?’.

Today, SaveTheHighStreet.org is launching the first ever, end-to-end COVID-19 support programme, designed to help local businesses survive and prosper through this challenging and transformational period for the high street.

SaveTheHighStreet.org will work closely with each business for 12 weeks to develop and implement a personalised plan, considering everything they could be doing to protect, adapt and even grow their business in 2020.

  • From offering local delivery to hosting virtual events
  • From new forms of community engagement to all forms of digital marketing
  • From negotiating with landlords to negotiating with suppliers
  • From setting up an ecommerce site to optimising ecommerce sales
  • From applying for grants to applying for loans
  • From new ways of working to new products and services
  • From being there for customers today to preparing for opportunities post-lockdown
  • And much more.

SaveTheHighStreet.org is using its digital assistant app called Jo (JoinJo.com) to ensure this highly tailored, expert support can be delivered remotely and affordably for all high street businesses in the UK. Existing Jo users have been moved onto the new programme. Local businesses based in the UK can now register for the 12 week programme at JoinJo.com.

SaveTheHighStreet.org is also launching an email newsletter this week to provide subscribers with a new idea every day. Each idea will focus on something positive that a local business or a local community champion could be doing on the Coronavirus-era high street. Everyone can now subscribe for this newsletter at SaveTheHighStreet.org.

SaveTheHighStreet.org has built partnerships with 150+ Local Authorities, Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), local community groups, trade associations and landlords to ensure this critical new support is available to local businesses across the UK as quickly as possible.

The future of the high street depends on how we all act now.

Alex Schlagman, a Founding Partner of SaveTheHighStreet.org comments:

“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.”

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About SaveTheHighStreet.org

SaveTheHighStreet.org is an industry movement on a mission to ensure diverse and successful high streets, now and for the long term. The movement launched in August 2016 and engaged 25,000+ supporters in the UK last year. SaveTheHighStreet.org is delivering a series of programmes to strengthen the high street economy in partnership with local businesses, local community champions, local authorities, trade associations, landlords, industry innovators, media owners and others. SaveTheHighStreet.org developed a digital assistant app called Jo (JoinJo.com) to ensure high quality, personalised, ongoing support is available and affordable for all independent high street business owners.