Some 54% of UK consumers said they would like more opportunities to support local businesses during the current ongoing lockdown, such as being able to purchase vouchers in exchange for future goods.
The findings come from new research published by ActLocal.co and VCCP Ignite, who also found that 63% of UK consumers are now using local businesses “less frequently” than they did before the pandemic.
The survey of 500 respondents discovered that 93% of consumers believe it is important to support local independent businesses during the current crisis, with most (63%) saying it is extremely important.
Millennials and baby boomers were the “most enthusiastic” supporters of local independent businesses, with 70% of respondents aged 25-34 and 68% of over 65s agreeing it is “extremely important” to support them during the crisis.
Millennials were also the most likely age group to want more opportunities to support local businesses at this time, at 70%.
In addition, while the majority of 18-44 year olds said they have been able to support local businesses during the crisis, the majority of over-45s said they have not, a figure that “points to potential generational differences in the way customers engage with local businesses on a day-to-day basis”.
Lars Kroijer, founder at ActLocal, said: “This new research shows that there is a real appetite amongst UK consumers for more opportunities to support their favourite local, independent businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Brits young and old are getting behind the national effort to keep our local high streets and businesses intact, and ready to bounce back after lockdown.”
He added: “By offering a free service for businesses to generate crucial additional income through their loyal customer bases, I hope ActLocal can make a real difference in helping our SMBs in their fight for survival.”