Jun 25, 2020

  • Seven in ten UK businesses negatively affected by COVID-19 crisis
  • SME businesses have had to adapt to ‘new normal’ to survive the crisis
  • Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles celebrates ingenuity of customers
  • Featured businesses include wholesale supplier, personal fitness provider and small batch gin distillery

Milton Keynes, UK – Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is celebrating customers who have risen to the challenge posed by the COVID-19 crisis in a new social campaign, highlighting four small businesses which have successfully adapted their business model during the pandemic, so they can continue to operate despite lockdown restrictions.  

UK businesses have faced difficult trading conditions throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with seven in ten firms negatively affected by the crisis*. Latest figures show that so far, a total of £33.4 billion has been loaned to 828,000 businesses through government-backed schemes**.

But in true entrepreneurial spirit, and complying with evolving lockdown restrictions, many SMEs have adapted their business model to ensure they can still provide goods and services to customers across the UK.

Claire English, Head of Fleet at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles commented: “It goes without saying that the past couple of months have been extremely challenging for businesses across the country, big or small. Despite this, it has been heartening to see so many of our customers find innovative ways to keep trading – and for many businesses, this has meant they’ve taken their services mobile.

“The four businesses highlighted here represent just a small number of the many who have risen to such an unprecedented challenge. We’ve never been prouder to support such resourceful and hard-working companies up and down the country. From mobile servicing, to online booking, we’re doing all we can to keep you on the move.”

The Conditioning Centre
Joel Thomas was a professional rugby player before opening his own gym, The Conditioning Centre, with his fiancé in The Cotswolds.

When gyms were forced to close on 20th March, Joel started using his Volkswagen Caddy to set up a home rental service for fitness equipment to allow his clients to train and stay fit during lockdown. As measures have gradually eased, he has also been offering one-to-one socially distanced personal training sessions and sold second-hand equipment.

When not on the road or with clients, Joel has invested his remaining time reorganising his space, ready for when clients are able to come back to the gym, ensuring they can exercise safely. To find out more about The Conditioning Centre, please visit:

SIS4ERS DISTILLERY is a family-run business, set up by the four McAvoy sisters. When the pandemic began to gain momentum in the UK, the sisters quickly shifted from producing Gin to producing WHO (World Health Organisation) approved hand sanitizer to provide much needed supplies for the NHS, Care Homes and many other organisations supporting vulnerable people during the crisis.

The sisters have now produced more than 10,000 litres of sanitiser so far and plan to continue to do so for as long as necessary to help the community. To find out more about SIS4ERS DISTILLERY, please visit:

Smith & Brock
Smith & Brock was founded in 2016 by brothers Joe and Nick and has grown to become a large wholesale supplier of fresh produce to hotels, restaurants, pubs and schools all over the UK.

After many of their clients were forced to close their doors on 20th March, Smith & Brock had to change its business model rapidly to cater to people at home instead. The brothers created a website in less than a week that enabled them to take orders directly.

The pair now deliver fresh fruit and vegetables to their growing customer base across the UK. To find out more about Smith & Brock, please visit:

Primrose Hall Peonies
Award-winning specialist peony nursery, Primrose Hall Peonies relies on Flower Shows around the UK, and in particular RHS Flower Shows, for at least 50% of its annual turnover. Once all this summer’s shows has been postponed or cancelled, it was clear the business would have to adapt.

The Bedfordshire based Nursery Primrose Hall Peonies had to think fast to keep their business moving. With the help of their Volkswagen Crafter they have expanded their home delivery service, so that people at home can still enjoy their beautiful flowers. To find out more about Primrose Hall Peonies, please visit:

For more details on the above businesses, please visit:


Notes to Editors:
*Survey carried out by BVA BDRC’s Business Opinion Omnibus
**Figure sourced from UK Finance release here.

About Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles:
Over 60 years ago, the first Transporter arrived in the UK, creating a blueprint which others would follow: a van which gets the job done efficiently and reliably. Today, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles offers a diverse model range – from the compact Caddy, through the evergreen Transporter and sturdy Crafter panel vans, dropsides and tippers, to the Caravelle passenger carrier, California camper and the Amarok pick-up. The vehicles are as versatile and dependable as Volkswagens have always been, but now they’re more spacious, more comfortable and safer than ever.

Every van also comes backed by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ ‘Working With You’ promise. It’s a commitment to work in partnership with businesses, providing them with the best products and aftersales support, whether they’re buying one or a thousand vans. For more information visit

Press contact

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Press Team

Kate Thompson 07713 265562
Amy Allen 07983 535116
Nicky Divey 07802 248310

Press and Public Relations
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles
Yeomans Drive
Milton Keynes
MK14 5AN

Telephone 01908 601478