Klarna launches support package for small businesses
Global payments and and shopping services provider Klarna has launched a £3 million Small Business Support Package to help British small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) recover from the pandemic.
The support package will provide 100 retail SMEs with access to much-needed support across different elements of their business, from office space and customer acquisition to advertising support.
Specifically, the fund will provide SMEs with workspace from WeWork All Access for three months, complementary use of Klarna’s pay later products for one year and £15,000 of Klarna media services. Together this package equates to over £30,000 of support for each business.
The package comes as the company commissioned research that showed 24% of SMEs aren’t confident their business will survive the next two years with 46% of owners staying their main priority is to “simply survive” the next six months.
Support will be split across four categories: Retail Innovator “for small businesses who have been breaking barriers and bringing innovation to the retail industry”; Omnichannel trailblazer “for those leading the way on omnichannel retail, and creating exceptional cross-channel experiences for their customers”; Sustainability Champion “celebrating the retailers who have made a commitment to our planet, and champion sustainable retail as part of their business”; and Pandemic Impact “for those who have been heavily impacted by the pandemic- from physical store closures to impact on demand”.
The recipients of the package will be decided by a panel of judges including Matt Vickers, MP for Stockton South and co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Future of Retail, Alex Marsh, head of UK for Klarna and Mathieu Proust, general manager, UK, Ireland & Emerging Markets at WeWork.
Marsh said: “SMEs are at the core of our economy and it’s vital that they’re given all the tools they need to survive. At Klarna, we are determined to help small retailers navigate their way back to pre-pandemic levels and we hope that this fund, together with our Accelerator Program, will inspire and boost confidence across the SME sector”.
Further Klarna-commissioned research highlighted the specific issues senior SME leaders have faced in the past 16 months. It found that 38% of SMEs didn’t think that they’d survive the pandemic with a further 39% feeling they’re yet to recover.
On the upside, 32% of SMEs want to make a positive contribution to society over the next six months and 50% are committing to focus on sustainability over the next year.
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