The first time I realised craft related businesses were going to be disproportionately affected by Brexit was on Hilltop Cloud’s recent newsletter, Katie assured customers that they shouldn’t feel “guilty” about the sudden discount they were going to receive due to the pound crashing. Afterall, she is getting paid the same…
Problem is, soon her suppliers, and her supplier’s suppliers are going to make increases, and soon small business margins will be further squeezed. This will happen across the entire market.
The next sign, Artesano today announced on facebook they are ceasing trading.
“We have made our best efforts to get stock moving and to fulfil all orders, but once the Brexit was announced last week, our main suppliers took the view not to continue delivering to us.”
We’re not even OUT of the EU yet technically, and it’s starting already.
Small businesses struggle, that is a given. I don’t think this supplier issue was the only factor in their closing up today. Artesano was working on changing their business model, they were trying something new with online sales and new distribution.
Small businesses have to be nimble and take chances to adapt. They have to deal with smaller margins, and smaller scales. There isn’t a lot of “wiggle room.” Running a small business is a risky business on the best days…. but this is going to be like nothing else.
All the businesses we love are at risk right now. Small businesses are often labours of love, and sweat equity, and don’t benefit from big investment. They don’t have the wherewithal to weather this crisis.
As crafters we’re going to notice this most quickly. These businesses rely on other small businesses, they have smaller, niche markets, and they rely on international supply chains.
Vultures may delight in picking among the discounted detritus of crashed businesses. I just feel like saying, I hope you’re happy now. It’s positively infuriating.
I’m going to a local meeting tonight to see what is being planned, how we can advocate for our communities, and work towards solutions. I have to do something, because it’s all looking a bit hopeless right now.