11 Liverpool businesses that have evolved to survive the COVID crisis
3 years ago
The coronavirus has been a testing time for everyone in the city and, in particular, its businesses.
But some have found creative ways of keeping afloat and, even, starting up.
The list of businesses in our area that have evolved through the crisis and used creativity to push them forward is endless.
Here are just 11 of those 100’s who adapted, and rose up, to beat the Covid-19 crisis…
Born out of Lu Ban head chef Dave Critchley’s desire to support local suppliers and vulnerable customers after COVID-19 hit, Liverpool Independent Delivered Services is an online shop and delivery service offering quality fresh produce from different local suppliers.
It offers everything from meat and fish, freshly-baked bread and cakes, to cheeses, wines and spirits, teas, and household products, and – from Dave himself – Chinese-inspired meal and recipe boxes from Lu Ban.
“LIDS is about putting money back into the local economy,” said Dave. Customers also get the chance to pay it forward and buy food for others who need it, and a percentage of profits each month goes to Knowsley Kitchen which helps give residents access to fresh and nutritious food. Orders can be made via the website – here – or by phone – 0330 107 0754.
With the outbreak resulting in the cancellation of major events including Aintree Gin’s biggest date of the year, The Grand National, they had excessive stocks of ethanol normally used as a base ingredient to make their gin – so the company converted its production line to produce antibacterial sanitiser spray.
Initially all the sanitiser it produced was donated directly to frontline workers and it set up supply lines to local care homes, hospices, emergency services and hospitals in the North West. Increasing capacity, it then made sanitiser to sell with profits going back into producing – and donating – more.
It has so far donated more 3000 litres to front line workers in hospitals, care homes, emergency services and it continues to sell santiser and PPE equipment from its base near Aintree Racecourse and online: www.aintreegin.com or call 0151 521 4476.
Knowsley Safari Home School
Knowsley adapted its usual educational offering to launch a free Home School Safari hub for parents, which gave a behind-the-scenes look at the famous park – including vets’ and educational videos.
Families could get downloadable worksheets, fun animal facts and talks covering topics like classification, Africa, food and feeding, animal care and exploring different species; and a Q&A video series answered queries and a photo gallery was updated regularly by keepers.
Knowsley Safari relaunched its Live Stream Safari School for schools, along with its educational content, again in September.
Liverpool Theatre Festival
From September 12-20 organisers supported the region’s theatrical talent and gave audiences the chance to enjoy musical theatre, drama, comedy, cabaret, monologues, and children’s shows, in Liverpool’s iconic Bombed-Out Church.
Festival-goers were reassured they’d be attending a covid-secure environment with capacity reduced to ensure socially-distanced seating, hand sanitiser stations, temperature checks before entry and masks compulsory when moving around the venue. Increased safety guidelines also took place behind the scenes.
More than 3,000 people attended 19 performances of 12 productions over nine days, including Swan Song with former Corrie actor Andrew Lancel, Laughterhouse Comedy and Deathly Confessions with Crissy Rock. City theatre producer Bill Elms who created the festival said: “The festival showed the public appetite for live theatre and entertainment is strong. People used the festival as escapism from these difficult times – it was the glimmer of hope we needed.”
During national lockdown Liverpool’s Wild Thang were working harder than ever on an NHS awareness campaign, selling almost 500 limited edition t-shirts, designed to highlight the work of NHS heroes during the coronavirus pandemic.
Staff produced four t-shirt designs, each carrying a message of support and awareness for NHS staff. It then launched a new range of hygiene and protection merchandise to support businesses coming out of lockdown.
Managing Director Andrew Dwerryhouse said: “We know it’s been tough out there for every organisation and we are no exception, these are the times you need to look at different ways and come up with innovative ideas to ensure your business survives and grows.”
Berry & Rye
The Berry Street bar began a delivery service of favourite drinks, and they’re still racing to the rescue with cracking cocktails, delivered straight to your door if you don’t fancy schlepping out or you just want to chill in your own home.
Options include Old Fashioned (Woodford Reserve, angostura and sugar) and Lovelace (Aperol, passionfruit, raspberry and citrus, plus bottle of prosecco), and there are plenty of others.
You can order via message on Instagram or by phoning 07557 506660, and delivery is free within seven miles. Cocktail delivery is from Thursday to Saturday, with late delivery from 7pm to midnight Friday and Saturday.
Laura’s Little Bakery
Fab city baker Laura Worthington developed a new range of NHS cupcakes to celebrate and support our medical – and non-medical – heroes.
The scrumptious cakes were created for NHS key staff – who also received a third-off discount, along with those who were sending a box as a care package!
Laura, whose sweet treats have been delighting customers for 10 years now, said: “I just wanted to make it a little bit more accessible for care workers to get treats. Taking into consideration everyone was struggling, I just thought it would be a nice thing to do.”
The Catalonian Deli, Restaurant and bar set up its own delivery service, with a full online store.
It now makes meals which it either refrigerates or freezes, as well as cook at home tapas kits (both frozen and refrigerated) and more, for which customers receive reheating and cooking instructions.
Although now back open for dine-in eating, you can still order for delivery of its Meals on Wheels and deli ranges – with loads of delicious dishes from albondigas (meatballs), chorizo in white wine with honey and scrumptious crispy chicken. They selected existing menu items which travel well and are good to reheat/cook – as well as a range of new comfort food.
Organisers were forced to cancel the Sherdley Park day-long music event lined up for September, but they didn’t leave anyone too disappointed – organising an online festival event instead.
DJs like Lee Butler, one of the producers of the independent, homegrown event which has been going since 2014 – and which has already announced it will be back in St Helens next year – introduced tons of dance acts for the online festival including Rozalla, Sosumi, KKlass and East 17.
Footage of the virtual event with hours of music from all six arenas is still available on demand:
Foursquare created Covid-safe guide
Health & Safety specialist Foursquare Group launched a UK-first ‘Pay What You Can’ Covid-Safe scheme which allowed independent restaurants, bars, events spaces and retailers to ensure they met (and meet) the guidelines.
It eliminated the stress for small businesses who didn’t, and don’t, have dedicated Health & Safety teams – and made it easier for everyone to reopen, start trading again and bounce-back post-lockdown.
Founder Liam Jones said the information could seem ‘overwhelming’ and he wanted to reassure business owners that adhering to the new measures was possible and they could bounce back and come out of the other side.
Festive Decorators create Covid-safe screen protectors
We’re more used to them getting us all festive and sparkly in time for Christmas but this year the Festive Group worked around the clock to get protective equipment into businesses so they could reopen after the coronavirus shutdown.
The Liverpool company, led by head of operations Paul Lally, imported screens and sanitiser units from the company in Spain which had been leading the economic recovery effort there.
Venues like Hilton Liverpool, The Art School restaurant, Zoo Salon and Titanic Hotel benefited from the new protective screens, which can be branded for each business. Paul said: “We are proud of the products we are providing, and we are helping many local, regional and national businesses. I have been blown away by business owners’ desire to open safely and according to government guidelines.”