Start-up and small businesses across the UK have suffered badly during the Covid-19 pandemic and now complications arising from Brexit have hit them too.

The Government’s most recent voluntary fortnightly business survey shows that in recent weeks, businesses have had challenges in exporting goods.

Of the businesses that took part in the survey, 35% claimed that disruption at the UK borders was the main problem when importing goods whilst 34% felt that the changes in transportation costs was the biggest issue for exporting.

Mario MaGonya, 22, the founder of lifestyle brand Gonya Wear, has struggled to bringing in his usual orders from his own retail supplier.

“I haven’t managed to release the tracksuits that I would like [to] as well because of the [Covid-19] restrictions in Pakistan where my supplier is based.”

MaGonya also added that changing his supplier would be very difficult for him to do as well. He said “To find another supplier is another ball-game… you have to build trust, you have to build a relationship with that supplier”.

“One of the positives of going online is the customer will be able to order from the comfort of their own homes during lockdown”
Mario maGONYA, FOUNDER OF GONYA WEAR

According to MaGonya, the global pandemic has interrupted his part-time income he receives at one of Nando’s chain of restaurants. Which in turn, leaves him with less money to invest in his business.

“Due to not [having enough money for] getting supply, due to low [amounts of] shifts at work and Covid-19 restrictions, I haven’t been able to make as many orders as I would like”.

MaGonya also said, “I would’ve liked to release some more concepts, some more T-shirts, some more tracksuits”.

Mario MaGonya speaking about trying to maintain customer relationships

As a young brand, founded in 2018, MaGonya values the customer relationship he has with previous consumers of his merchandise. Normally, he and his team would hand-deliver orders and get to know the customer to build a bond with them and Gonya Wear.

In a bid to keep those relationships, he wants to build a website for his brand.

“One of the positives of going online is the customer will be able to order from the comfort of their own homes during [the national] lockdown. We don’t know when that’s going to end”.

Mario MaGonya hopes that the website will help him not only keep his brand’s relationship with their customers but also expand his brand’s awareness on the internet.