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‘Adapt for Recovery’ | How small businesses are building for the future

15th June 2020: As non-essential shops begin to reopen their doors, over half (56%) of small business owners surveyed are concerned they will not be able to bounce back from the impact of COVID-19, according to a new survey released by Visa today.

Consumers are also having similar worries. Seven in 10 (73%) surveyed worried about small businesses reopening. One in two shoppers (54%) will only return to bricks & mortar stores if strict social distancing is in place, while nearly one in five (18%) will not return until a vaccine is developed.

To help small business owners adapt to the new landscape, Visa has launched a number of initiatives with partners. This includes working with platforms like Deliveroo,, eBay, and Shopify to help local shops build an online presence; and partnering with providers like iZettle and SafeCharge to enable sellers to accept digital payments on and offline.

Jeni Mundy, Managing Director, UK and Ireland at Visa comments:Even in the face of extraordinary challenges, British businesses are gearing up for recovery by finding new ways to serve their consumers. However, we know that many lack the time and resource to rebuild at this critical time so Visa is enlisting the help of its partners to offer small firms the tools, advice and expertise so they can adapt their business ready for a new normal. We’re also calling on consumers to shop local. By supporting small businesses- both on and offline - all of us can do our bit to help our communities recover and get back to their best.”

The ‘Adapt for Recovery: Helping small businesses build for the future’survey, released today by Visa, reveals three key trends in consumer and small business behaviour that will define community recovery across the UK. The key trends include:

  • 1.SME Innovation- Adapting to changing needs
  • 2.Balancing ‘bricks and clicks’ shopping
  • 3.Consumer commitment to support local business

SME Innovation- Adapting to changing needs

Over a third (39%) of small businesses surveyed have adapted their business model to keep trading during lockdown. This has led to the emergence of a new type of seller- the ‘AKA businesses’ that have diversified their offering with new products and services.

This trend has been well-received, as 81% of consumers say these changes have encouraged them to shop with small businesses, while 85% who have noticed small businesses adapt would like to see measures continue after lockdown has ended.

A balance of ‘bricks and clicks’ shopping

Two thirds (65%) of Brits shopping online are buying more than before lockdown, creating a lifeline for small businesses who have a digital presence. With 61% of consumers now feeling less comfortable shopping in store than before the pandemic, balancing online and offline measures will be an important part of the recovery process for small businesses. However, many have yet to take advantage of online selling with a third (31%) of small businesses not having a digital storefront.

Consumer commitment to support local business

Loyalty to small independent businesses remains high, with over half (51%) of Brits shopping with small businesses at least once a week since late March. Meanwhile, 82% of consumers intend to shop as frequently or more frequently with small businesses once restrictions are eased than before lockdown.

Hairdressers top the list of the most-missed small businesses during lockdown, while upon reopening the hospitality sector should also see a boom with restaurants, pubs and cafés also greatly missed by Brits.

Help is at hand

As part of its ongoing commitment to support small businesses, Visa has launched a new campaign to support independent businesses adapt for a post Covid-19 environment. This includes offers and packages that enable small businesses to build an online storefront; initiatives to enable sellers accept digital payments and encouraging consumers to shop local. For more information, please


Notes to editor

Research commissioned by Visa and conducted by Opinium Research from 27th May – 3rd June 2020.

For consumer data points, the total sample size was 2,001 adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults aged 18+.

For merchant data points, total sample size was 500 owners of companies with 0-49 employees.



About Visa

Visa is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device. As the world moves from analogue to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit our website (, blog (, and@VisaUK.

Press contacts

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About Visa Europe

Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 38 countries.

Visa Europe is at the heart of the payments ecosystem providing the services and infrastructure to enable millions of European consumers, businesses and governments to make electronic payments. Its members are responsible for issuing cards, signing up retailers and deciding cardholder and retailer fees. Visa Europe is also the largest transaction processor in Europe, responsible for processing more than 18 billion transactions annually.

There are more than 500m Visa cards in Europe, while €1 in every €6 spent in Europe is on a Visa card. Total expenditure on Visa cards exceeds €2 trillion annually, with €1.5 trillion spent at point-of-sale.

Visa Europe is an independent business with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence to use the Visa brand in Europe. Visa Europe works in partnership with Visa Inc. to enable global Visa payments in more than 200 countries and territories.

For more information, visit and @VisaEuropeNews

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