How Birmingham businesses are coping during the lockdown

Covid-19 and the Government’s lockdown have affected all of our lives in a number of ways. 

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Our favourite restaurants, pubs, cinemas and shops are closed for business as usual, but many of them are finding new ways to continue to provide us with what we need, all whilst adhering to the restrictions and keeping their workers and customers safe.

The Clean Kilo

The Clean Kilo is an independent, zero waste supermarket with two stores located in Birmingham.

Usually, both the Bournville store and The Custard Factory store operate in a similar way to other supermarkets, where you help yourself to what you need and go to pay at the till - but with lockdown restrictions in place The Clean Kilo is unable to accept walk-in customers, so the business has had to adapt in order to fulfil their customers’ needs while ensuring they can continue shopping safely.

The Clean Kilo quickly set-up and implemented a new click and collect online shopping service where customers could buy everything they needed online on The Clean Kilo website, choose a specific time slot for collection, and then collect their shopping safely from the nearest store while other customers are not present.

For customers who aren’t so tech savvy, The Clean Kilo has set up an outdoor ‘market’ stall at their Bournville site with pre-packaged fresh produce and household essentials, so you can still shop for your essentials whilst socially distancing with minimal contact.

Digbeth Dining Club

If you know Digbeth Dining Club you will know that, every weekend, hundreds of people gather together to indulge in some of the best street food the Midlands has to offer. Lockdown restrictions have meant that DDC has had to cancel their usual weekly gatherings, but with food vendors relying on these customers for their income, and the people of Birmingham craving their street food favourites, DDC decided to open a click and collect street food service.

The scheduled food vendor line-up for each week remains in place as normal, but instead of going to visit them in person, you choose what dishes you would like online, pay for them and then choose a collection time slot where you can collect your food items to-go!


Gymshark are pretty well-known for their work-out clothing and encouraging us all to get to the gym for some exercise, but, with gyms closed for the foreseeable future, Gymshark has had to find a way of keeping us all fit from the comfort of our homes.

In the first week or so of lockdown, Gymshark changed their name on Twitter to ‘Homeshark’ to reinforce the importance of staying home to their customers. All of their social media imagery that usually shows athletes working out in the gym, is now showing their customers new ways to work out from home.

To encourage this further, Gymshark launched a ‘sweaty selfie’ campaign, pledging a £5 donation to NHS charities from Gymshark for every post-workout sweaty selfie posted online. In total, this initiative raised around £180,000 for the NHS!

Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park

The Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park, home to otters, ocelots, spider monkeys and red pandas, normally hosts regular events and accepts large numbers of visitors all year round, but unfortunately they too have had to close their doors to visitors due to Covid-19. 

In order to keep connected with their visitors and keep raising money for their animals, the park have been using their Facebook page to give live virtual tours of the park and do live question and answer sessions about the different animals that they look after. Their videos have been viewed thousands of times, with parents using them as resource for home schooling and others just checking in for a virtual day out.

Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen

The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen usually hosts a jam-packed schedule of fun events including movie marathons, live music, comedy nights and bottomless brunches.

In order to keep their customers entertained during lockdown, The Mockingbird have been hosting virtual quizzes every Thursday with cash prizes for the winners. Themes include Spice Girls, Star Wars, Dirty Dancing and Lord of The Rings!

Flatpack Festival

Every May bank holiday, Flatpack takes over a number of venues across Birmingham fortheir Flatpack Festival. The festival boasts a programme of films from every genre, and you can buy a ticket and head along to the venues screening the films you want to see.

This year, Flatpack have had to adapt their usual Festival set-up and decided to move their movie screening programme online through their website. The screenings are now free of charge, and the movies are available to watch 10 days after their programmed slot so you can bring the cinema to your living room.

Birmingham City University

As a university we have also had to adapt to the new way of life and working. Usually our buildings are busy with thousands of students attending lectures and seminars, and we regularly host large scale events such as open days and applicant taster days.

In order for teaching to continue as scheduled now our buildings are closed, all lectures and seminars have moved online and virtual meetings between staff and students have become the new normal.

Even our open days, applicant taster days, award ceremonies and other campus-based events have had to move online, where we have developed virtual tours and talks so visitors can still experience BCU, even if they can’t come to see us in person. Why not check out our next Virtual Open Day on Wednesday 24 June?

Virtual Open Day