The global COVID-19 pandemic has created a very uncertain landscape for millions of British small businesses, which is going to make it very challenging for businesses to survive. Together we can help them.
Crowdfunder are offering up their platform to allow all UK small businesses to pre-sell their meals, events, hotel bookings etc. for cash now on a promise to redeem these at a later date.
I am crowdfunding, as there is absolutely no other way of me making the money to ensure that my new business survives.
In February I quit my job to run a business for someone whos wife had cancer, as he needed to spend time with her. They had plans to retire, and I was going to buy the business from them in October.
Covid then came along and he decided he would open just a couple of hours a day and could not work with anyone else.
I could not afford to take the risk of continuing to purchase the existing business, as the existing premises rent was high, and the building needed work which the landlord was not prepared to do. There is also no way of knowing how much impact online shopping would have made to that business.
I was left with no income, and haven't had for 9 months now. My old boss refused to furlough me, and I was unable to claim benefits. However I still wanted to continue with my plans, so I was loaned a small amount of money to set up Love2pets. This is from my sisters pension.
It has been a struggle some days and a pleasure others. I am sure that everyone feels that way at the moment. There were 2 days last week that I sat there and cried, wondering if I would get any more customers due to the lockdown and a Large American company that delivers. But Friday came and along came some new customers and some existing ones. Apparently people love my little store. I love my customers and their furry friends, and really want to continue what I have started, and be a lovely community shop.
I have rented a small unit, which is not really suitable, as it is quite dangerous for some of my customers who bring dogs. It is also too small for my plans going forward. In fact too small for me now. I have to keep moving things every time a customer wants to go in one of the freezers. In addition, as it is in the middle of an industrial estate, I don't have any passing trade, and many people can't find me.
I have been offering virtual shopping during the Lockdown, so people can take a look, and have a chat without leaving their homes. Unfortunately the website isn't functional yet, also due to lack of funding.
On the same site there is a shop available. It is on the main road, with disabled access, (you can see on my photo, there is a huge step into the existing premises). I really need to move to this premises to ensure the survival of my business.
Love2pets is about providing pet owners with good quality, competitively priced British manufactured food and other products. My plan is to move to the new shop which is on a main road, which has disabled access, and direct pavement access. It will be safer for my customers. It should also provide me with many more to the customers and eventually enable me to take a wage and hopefully save my home.
My plan is that I will sell a range of loose products, that customers can refill their own containers and reduce plastic waste. I will increase my range of natural treats, which will also be available to buy in paper bags. It will be a Deli, without the price tag, which will enable a wider range of pet owners quality, healthy products for their pets.
One of my customers dogs enjoying a natural treat.
In addition to this, I have contacted local people who have started up small businesses in their homes making pet products, and I will sell those in the shop too.
In the absence also of the charity shops being able to open, I have also been supporting a cat rescue charity by having some of their goods for sale, and want to continue supporting them. Eventually by giving a percentage of my profits to them.
I offer a delivery service, which is useful during Covid 19. However I really would like to buy a zero emission van next year, to further benefit the environment.
Please see below reviews taken from my Facebook page. I would really love to continue what I have started and stay here to support the community. However I need your help to make it happen.
- Brilliant little pet shop, packed to bursting with a wide range of good quality pet food and treats at very good prices. Debbie's service is also first class! Well worth seeking out this little treasure, I will definitely be returning!
- Wild bird seed and a bird feeder arrived quickly and at an excellent price. Thank you
Absolutely love little shop!
- Thoroughly recommend! Lots of natural dog treats and frozen foods and dry foods all reasonably priced.
Very friendly and kind. I will 100% be back to stock up on natural treats!
And it was lovely to have a good natter today!
- Popped in after seeing the post. Warm welcome, lovely shopOwner....my puppy also had a lovely time in there!Lovely, local shop we will be back!Thanks Love2pets!
- Highly recommend Love2Pets - the shop is like an Aladdins Cave - so many lovely natural treats and food and Debbie is really friendly and helpful and will go out of her way to get you the things you need. She managed to get my nervous girl a karma wrap ready for fireworks night and delivered it to my house too. Highly recommend - this independent pet shop is exactly what we need in the area! #supportlocal #supportindependantpetshops
I hope to be able to continue this business, and I hopefully will be able to provide others jobs in the future, and be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
If you would like to see more, please visit my Facebook page @love2petsglos
I have started Vlogging at 46, which is something I never saw myself doing. I hope you enjoy it.
Sorry about the website. I hope to get it up and running soon, but funding has prevented it thus far.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. If you want to know more. Please contact me.
If you decide to donate, then I can't tell how much it is appreciated.
I will be able to move the shop to a workable location and buy the stock I need to survive.
This is not about greed, but survival. I am struggling to pay the bills, as I just don't have enough turnover yet. It is new, and the location is wrong for the business. I can't afford to take a wage, and that is problematic for me on a personal level.
There aren't jobs available due to the pandemic. If I don't make this work, 2020 will seem like a picnic. I will struggle to keep my home in 2021.
I hear people say they have missed out on some government help. I have missed out on all of it.