For years, decades even, it has been my goal to practise yoga every day, but somehow it never happens. Now, however, during a global pandemic, I have achieved my goal thanks to a programme of live online yoga classes offered by Yoga Healing Glasgow, a Partick-based yoga studio established in 2009 by Anthea Simpson.

Ms Simpson uses the video communications platform Zoom to deliver her online timetable together with the yoga teachers who normally work with her at her studio. Her primary objective in moving online was to create a sense of community and commitment and to give people an anchor within their day. However, the online timetable has also given her and her fellow teachers some financial security at a time when their income has evaporated but rent on the studio must still be paid.

The price is low -- £35 a month for unlimited classes – and teachers are paid a flat fee rather than a fee dependent of how many people come to class as before, but it is better than nothing.

“I hope it will make up the deficit in the government’s 80% grant,” says Ms Simpson.

Yoga Healing’s online timetable also allows the teachers to keep teaching, preserving both their skillset and their connection with the students. It is just one example of how small businesses are keeping going during the lockdown – and helping others in the process.

Community building is also part of how Sarah Grussing, owner of vintage and local craft emporium Lewis Revival in Stornoway, is coping with a challenging situation. Having moved to new and larger premises on Stornoway’s Point Street less than a year ago, she had to shut her doors just as the tourist season on the Outer Hebrides was about to start. She is now using Facebook and Instagram to keep in touch with customers.

“I'll be posting more frequently but not just items for sale,” she says. “Social media can and should be about community building, and so day-in-the-life posts, shares of the upcycling projects my customers are doing, or cross-posts and tagging other local businesses are important networking too.”

She has now secured a £10,000 government grant, which gives her enough to cover her overheads for the next three months. She is therefore planning ahead by building a web presence, upcycling items that will help to restock her shop when she can reopen and even extending a job offer for that time.

“It's not a time to panic and make decisions based on short-term needs, no matter how tempting that may be,” she says.

Government grants will be key for many businesses. Scott Davidson, who opened Love-ebikes, the only specialist e-bike shop on the west coast of Scotland, in 2018 needs one to survive. In the meantime, he has an appointments-only service at his Partick showroom.

“If I sell the odd bike, that will pay the bills,” he says.

Business dropped off by 80-90% once the lockdown began, but longer-term it may bring benefits, as it’s a good time to cycle. City roads are quiet, and an e-bike enables people to go further during their permitted daily exercise.

“If we get to the other side of this hopefully people’s mindsets will change,” says Mr Davidson.

Businesses may also change. Anthea Simpson has not simply taken her normal yoga classes online but has created a whole new timetable for the lockdown, featuring simpler poses and more breath work. She now expects to incorporate that into her overall offering when the lockdown ends.

“Students are saying they don’t want Zoom to stop,” she says. “I’m inclined to have both options.”