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Support Small Businesses Through the Lockdown

Posted on 24 Mar, 2020 by Sarah Hart

Why we need your support

The little guys in our high streets, villages and local communities are facing bleak times ahead and we need your support more than ever!

The chancellor may have pledged to support small businesses through the Coronavirus crisis but there’s a huge problem. Many small businesses consist of the self employed. And the weekly Statutory Sick Pay currently being promised for those who are self employed is for many, a significant drop in income (I’m hopeful that this may change over the coming days).

Big businesses are likely to bounce back from this pandemic. Unfortunately, small businesses are the likely to be the worst hit from it. So here’s how you can help the small local businesses in your area.

How to support small businesses

  • Like (or love) and share our posts on Facebook if relevant / funny/ cute – you’re helping to keep the business be seen and can possibly help us reach potential new clients.
  • Where at all possible, don’t ask for a refund if the service can be provided at a later date after the pandemic has passed. I’m aware that times are now tougher financially for everyone and only you can make the decision whether you’re in a position to be able to postpone using the business at a later date this year. But if you can, consider postponing.
  • Shop locally online if you can. Some of the smaller eateries in our area have been incredible at responding to the changing needs of the public with the spread of the virus. But don’t also forget the small craft or gift businesses, who may offer online shopping to send out a gift direct to your loved one for their birthday whilst we’re all social distancing ourselves.
  • Some small businesses are offering vouchers to be redeemed over the year. These will not only make awesome gifts but you’ll also be providing some businesses with possibly their only income stream
  • If you’ve used and loved a local business, leave them a review – they will really appreciate the words and the fact that potential clients may see the reviews and go on to book a service/buy from the business.

These are all fairly small things you can do to support a small business but if everyone does them, they will help keep us afloat in these tough times that we’re facing.

Support small businesses in your area

Here in Tonbridge, Sevenoaks & Tunbridge Wells, I’ve been so impressed with the speed at which businesses have had to adapt and try to continue to create an income in these tough times. Here’s just a small selection of local businesses which you may be able to support:

Children’s Classes

Gymborree classes for your little ones: “We’re running classes online for current members and just launched an online only membership to new clients. We also have gift vouchers available through ” Get in touch with Colette at for more information about the online classes or follow on their Facebook page:

Online Gymboree classes, enrol now, Sevenoaks, Kent

Musical Bumps: Local mum, Margaret has been running wonderful musical lessons to 1000s of families in the area for over 13 years (including myself and my children adored her classes when they were small). Online classes are not available yet BUT you can purchase gift vouchers as presents for a child’s birthday or sign up to a term of classes for the Autumn. Check out their Facebook page for some regular fun activities to try with your little ones:

Musical Bump gift vouchers available, Tonbridge Kent

Lingtot: Sarah runs the Bexley branch of Lingtot – normally teaching foreign languages to small community groups and afterschool classes – but now offering short 30 min KS1 and KS2 online classes, and can also offer private classes too. French, Spanish, German and Italian available. These classes may prove a godsend to all us struggling homeschooling parents! Follow their Facebook page HERE or email for more information.

Lingtot Bexley offering online classes through the lockdown

For Parents

Mama & Max: an online store for beautiful gifts for babies, toddlers and parents. We’re not able to go shopping down our high street over the next few weeks, but we can buy online from this gorgeous store. If you’ve a gift to buy for a child’s birthday or new mum, have a little look here for some inspiration: and follow on their Facebook page –

Online gift shop Mama & Max

Raise Up Mums: Never has there been more need for a community of mums who can support each other through the tough times. Silke Thistlewood runs Raise Up Mums (offering simple and easy to follow self care tips and help with creating a resilient mindset). She runs a FREE Raise Up Mums Community that you can join HERE. I think we will all need a bit of Silke in our lives! And you can also purchase her self care cards – they make wonderful gifts for new mums (or any mum!) going through a tough time.

Self care cards by Raise Up Mums, Tonbridge Kent

BabyPrints: Christine is well known in the area for her beautiful hand and foot castings. In the current client, it’s impossible for Christine to continue her work at the moment due to the physical contact required for her to create each casting. However, if you’ve considered having a casting made, now would be a great opportunity to purchase a gift voucher to ensure you book a slot when she can open to the public again. Get in touch with Christine via email or 07714531747

Babyprints Tunbridge Wells offering gift vouchers

The Rainy Day Box: We’re in England, so there will be days when you’re stuck indoors and need a bit of inspiration for what to do with your little ones. They offer a range of different activity boxes to suit different seasons and the best thing is that it will be delivered to your door! Perfect when we’re all in lockdown! And a lovely surprise for your children to open. Check out their range HERE. And you can follow on Facebook:

The Rainy Day Box gift packs for children, Kent

On The DoorStep Magazine: “On the Doorstep shares articles from Kent businesses sharing their tips and expertise. We share class reviews, silly meme’s and anything we feel you will find helpful. If you would like to talk to other like minded mums then please do join our Facebook group, the Kent Mum Tribe ” – in this time of restrictions and home isolation, these groups will really help with our mental wellbeing…even just to know we are not alone.

On the DoorStep Kent Mum Tribe

Daisy First Aid Tunbridge Wells: Daisy First Aid’s award winning Baby & Child First Aid class is now available on line. 
This training is perfect for expectant / new parents, babysitters and grandparents who want to gain knowledge and confidence to help a child in an emergency. The class includes all of the topics covered in my 2 hour classes such as febrile seizures, CPR and choking plus new topics!
1 hour live Baby first aid classes will also be available covering Baby CPR, Baby Recovery Positions, Febrile Seizures – details of these will be available shortly.
Nicola is also hoping to offer live first aid sessions for children or for families as a whole. To find out more get in touch with Nicola – email:  or follow her over on facebook  or 

Other Businesses

Kent Virtual Assistant: Are you a small business yourself? If you’re now working from home WITH your own children to home school, you may feel slightly frazzled. Emma is a friendly and efficient virtual assistant who can take away some of the admin tasks of your business which might be making you feel a little overwhelmed.

Kent Virtual Assistant offering different admin tasks

Alice Rose Yoga: This one’s for all the frazzled mums trying to keep everything together over the next few months. From this Friday (27th March) you can join Alice via a live feed or register for a recorded version. She will be offering a weekly restorative yoga and breath session from 1st April, plus a weekly circle to share and support through heart centred gratitude mediations, breathing and sound healing. All her sessions are donation based, to help anyone struggling financially – this is such a kind gesture from a local mum and small business owner. To register go to…

Yoga classes online for mums, Alice Rose Space, Kent

The Paperdashery: Gude is owner of The Paperdashery and normally runs lovely creative workshops during school holidays in her garden studio (and it’s a real treat, as I’ve visited!). Obviously, as these can’t go ahead at present, you can follow her Facebook page here, instead: AND here’s another way to support small businesses – Gude has produced an online book “50 Ways To Stay Sane During Lockdown” which I think we will all need this coming month! It’s currently FREE on Kindle Unlimited – if you download it, please do remember to leave her a review!

Book, 50 ways to stay sane during lockdown

Fox’s Fantastic Fact & Fiction: Local Usborne seller, Jennifer has some stock of her books at home. “I’m happy to deliver books locally or leave them out for people to collect from me.” Also a tutot, Jennifer can offer Skype/Zoom sessions to help support home learning over the course of the next few months. Get in touch if you’d like more information: 07854 848269

Sarah Hart Photography: yep, me! I may not be able to take your family photos at the moment but I can provide gift vouchers if you’re looking for a thoughtful gift for a loved one. Get in touch if you would like to purchase a voucher for a photoshoot. Would love to hear from you. And if you’ve missed out on the newborn photography stage for your baby, I’ve written this blog to help you try to take your own special photos of your newborns this Spring:

So if there’s any chance you can support a small business from the list above (or one of the many other wonderful local businesses) I’m certain they would love to hear from you!

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