It’s no secret that businesses across the UK have had to adapt to the changing demands of the new normal after the Covid-19 pandemic.
While strategies may differ depending on the sector or business size, all businesses have had to reevaluate their plans. Some businesses had to pause or adopt remote working, while others were forced to reevaluate their plans. Others focused on innovation.
Solopress, a print and design company, revealed that 69% of creative industry representatives believed that the pandemic had accelerated innovation in their businesses. The survey explored how and why innovation is so important for many businesses trying to mitigate the effects of Covid-19.
These are the Key Findings
Solopress conducted a survey in November 2021 and 69% of respondents said that the pandemic had accelerated innovation in their businesses.
18% of UK businesses were forced into temporary closures or paused trading during the first national lockdown in May 2020.
34% of workers furloughed in the pandemic were employed in the accommodation-food service sector, while 29% were employed in the arts, entertainment, and recreation sectors.
In the UK, 772,002 businesses were also created in 2020. Many of these businesses came from sectors that had benefited from the pandemic, such as PPE manufacturing and takeaway services.
During November 2021, the percentage of businesses trading remained stable at 91%. The percentage of businesses that temporarily stopped trading remained at just 5%.
17% of UK companies reported that November was difficult for them, and had to change suppliers or find other solutions.
15% of UK businesses reported a shortage in workers by November end.
Solopress data shows that 50% of business representatives experienced a drop in enquiries due to the pandemic, while 28% reported that their enquiries increased. However, 23% of respondents stated that the level and frequency of inquiries did not change.
More than 80% of respondents said that their business was able to adapt to the pandemic and seize opportunities.
According to government data, 60% of businesses have adopted digital technologies and changed their management practices. 38% also adopted new digital capabilities. 45% also created a new product.
Covid-19 crisis prompted 52% of companies to accelerate their AI adoption plans.
67% of businesses anticipate scaling up their AI strategy in 2021.
Business as Unusual
18% of UK businesses had to temporarily stop or halt trading during the first national lockdown. 62% of businesses that were still trading reported a decline on their turnover, which indicates the widespread effects of the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, accommodation and food services were the most affected sectors with 34% of workers furloughed. Arts, entertainment, and recreation furloughed 29%.
Innovation through new partnerships Not all UK businesses were affected by the pandemic. However, some saw the crisis as a catalyst to their success. Royal Mail and Amazon capitalized on customers staying at home, while Deliveroo teamed up with Waitrose, Aldi and Co-Op to deliver groceries directly to their customers’ homes. This allowed for speedy delivery and convenience. Uber Eats’ customer base grew significantly after it partnered with Sainsbury’s in October’s initiative.
Innovation through Entrepreneurship
In the UK, 772,002 businesses were created in 2020. Many sectors were able to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the pandemic.
Weezy, a rapid delivery service, began operations in August 2021. It delivers goods from local bakers, wholesalers, and butchers to Fulham, Chelsea residents in 15 minutes. The fee is PS2.95 and there are no hidden charges

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