How one small business is pivoting to make a difference – and survive COVID-19

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Pioppo Ltd has announced the launch of Pioppo-Works – a project to overcome the effects of the Coronavirus.

Around the World, small businesses are struggling to survive financially amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. The Coronavirus outbreak is affecting the UK economy in a number of different ways: from enforced closures of many businesses, to supply chain disruption, and uncertainty over job security. The rapid escalation of the crisis – and the associated economic impact – means that official data will not reflect full picture of devastation to business until late April and May at the very earliest. To survive the crisis, small businesses need to act quickly.

Rachael and Carlo Giordani, are owners of Pioppo, a family-run business, based in Essex, that designs and builds furniture for the event and retail industries.  Carlo commented: “Small businesses like ours have been devastated. Overnight 100% of our orders were cancelled and it’s had a massive impact on us, our staff and the future of our business”.    

Rachael explained, “Four weeks ago, our company’s outlook was bleak. In the days that followed lockdown, we had to have really tough conversations with the team. The hardest thing is having to let people go who have helped shape the company, people I care deeply about.”

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The most recent survey of businesses from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), conducted 9-22 March, showed that 29% of businesses who responded were cutting staff levels in the short term  and 47% of businesses reported lower than normal levels of turnover.

To address the unprecedented challenges, Carlo and Rachael have found a solution – to pivot the business and create a new income stream.

Carlo explains, “We’ve shifted our focus to meet new demands, making a positive social impact whilst keeping the lights on in our business.  We are used to thinking on our feet and quickly adapting to the changes in front of us. We’ve now developed Pioppo-Works – a range of hand-made yet affordable workstations designed for the home or remote worker. These workstations are all ergonomically designed by our own team of experts. They require no tools to install and they can be built, dismantled and rebuilt to promote a flexible work-life balance. The materials are sustainably sourced, and we make the product in Essex in the UK.”

“By pivoting our business during this crisis, we are playing our part in supporting a community which has had to adapt to a new way of working from home. It feels good to support people overcome the challenge of working from home with limited space,” said Rachael. 

This is by no means a huge profit-making exercise for the Company – it is more about cost recovery and re-deployment of the team of skilled craftsmen. The Pioppo-Works project has a goal to support many self-employed contractors who are out of work and struggling to pay their bills. “Many Contractors have supported us over the years, and now it is our time to step up, and help them,” Carlo explained.   

Everyone at Pioppo recognises that the Coronavirus crisis will have a huge impact on the mental wellbeing of our community and so, the company will donate a percentage of every sale of a workstation to a National Mental Health Charity.  

To support this small business and make a difference – please check out the range of hand-made, affordable, ergonomic workstations at https://pioppo.co.uk/shop/. Prices start at £30.00

Rachael and Carlo would like to say a huge thank you for the support that the community has shown. Carlo finishes by saying ‘you are playing a huge part in our story, to create a legacy and together we can make the biggest difference!’

www.pioppo.co.uk

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