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From in-store to online: the rise of start-ups during the coronavirus pandemic

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of new business start-ups has increased by 5 per cent during the third quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2019.

Despite expectations that the creation of new businesses would be a lot lower due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, there were 95,395 new companies added to the Government’s Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) in the third quarter.

These organisations had a smaller amount of employees and turnover, plus they were in industries that were less affected by the pandemic – such as administrative and professional services which could offer more homeworking opportunities.

A study, commissioned by the Royal Mail, discovered that e-commerce delivery was the sector with the most start-ups during the lockdown period, succeeded by the services and property sector.

The pandemic and the national lockdown altered people’s routines and work-life, meaning entrepreneurial activity increased during this time, and a lot of small UK business owners had to adapt to the restrictions.

Home deliveries were surging during the lockdown, and continue to do so as consumers have shown a lasting preference for it. These new behavioural patterns from customers have meant more businesses set up shop online.

Approximately 16,000 e-commerce businesses were formed in the period from March to July 2020, with the coronavirus resulting in many businesses seeking to take advantage of the new opportunities available through a change in consumer habits.

This blog is for guidance only, professional advice should be obtained before acting on any information contained herein. The information was correct at time of publishing 20th October 2020.