Local business owners have spoken out about their struggles and how they are adapting to the coronavirus pandemic as a second national lockdown begins on Thursday.
Non essential shops, leisure and entertainment will close from Thursday, November 5 until at least December 2. Pubs, bars and restaurants must also close, except for takeaway and collections — and the government has issued comprehensive guidance on the lockdown rules.
Businesses are continuing to adapt, including online offerings and delivery services, while supermarkets are busy with panic buyers ahead of November 5.
What bars & restaurants are doing
Ronnie Byrne, Duty Manager at the Nosey Parker, told The Lincolnite:”Obviously the situation is far from ideal, but, like everybody, we’re just going to try and take it in our stride.
“We are opening a second dedicated delivery service with a range of meals that are different from our regular menu, to give people more choice, and to give our team the hours they deserve.
“As for the industry, it could be devastating. The government’s ban on takeaway alcohol this time around is preposterous, and could really damage the amazing independent bars in the city.
“Even though we’re all run by different people and different companies, we’re one family, and we never want to see other businesses suffer.”
Jez Nash, who owns the Strait & Narrow and The Rogue Saint, said: “2020 has been an unprecedented year for hospitality that’s for sure. It’s been hard to navigate the COVID landscape but this is how the world is right now. However hard it is for us there are people who have lost, sacrificed and faced much harder obstacles than us and still are doing.
“Our goal is to keep staff and customers safe and make sure that when we can reopen that we bring the same high standards of drinks and a safe enviroment like we have done for the last few months – in fact the last eight years.
“We’re waiting on clarification from local and national government to get the green light to continue with the massively popular Strait Crates delivery service that we’ve been running since March for beer and cocktail delivery, locally and nationally. Just because it’s lockdown again doesn’t mean we’re going to leave our customers without the best drinks.”
David Nejrup, Operations Manager at Home, Craft and Curiosity Shop, said: “While the news of the second national lock down is yet another challenge to our beleaguered sector, we understand the rational behind it.
“We would like to thank our amazing team and guests, who have continued to support us at this difficult time. We hope the lockdown will have the desired effect the government wishes to achieve and hopefully we will be allowed to commence trading in December.”
Kine will be offering a takeaway service from next weekend (November 14) and owner Jason Lord-Castle said: “Obviously it’s quite annoying that we’re going into lockdown again, but it’s a necessity.
“We are in a lucky position that we’ve been really popular and will still be here once all this is over. It is quite disappointing as we were getting to a point where we were doing exceedingly well and seeing lots of new faces, so for this to happen again is a bit crushing.
“My staff are all smiling and have been fantastic and we’re confident we’ll be back. It is going to be difficult for everybody but it’s a case of use small independents sticking together and helping each other out where we can.”
Luis Abruneiras, son of the owner of Ole Ole Tapas Bar & Restaurant, said: “We will have to close during lockdown, but will continue to do contactless collection as well as delivery, and are joining Uber Eats today (November 2).
“We have had friends in the industry that have been struggling and it is a sad time. I think so many people are uncertain on what is happening. It is a difficult time for us and our family in Spain too, but we’ll stick together.
“We are a family business and we are always going to be here. We are confident we can return in the future and look forward to seeing customers again.”
Hairdressers and beauty salons
Matt Smith, co-owner at The Junxion hair salon, said: “It was sort of expected with how things have been going. It’s not good for any small business, but it’s got to be done or we’ll be in a worse situation.
“Financially it is going to be difficult to everyone and all small businesses, but we have put the year down as making sure we’re surviving for next year and making sure bills are paid, and are confident we’ll be back stronger.”
Laura Fryer runs The Relaxation Studio in Tattershall Thorpe near Lincoln from her home, where Gemini aesthetics and Oak Tree Hills (Reflexology) are also based.
Laura has been running her business for 10 years and will offer online Zoom tutorials during lockdown.
She said: “I’m gutted as we’ve been trying to work to accrue the money back from the previous lockdown and were starting to get back to some kind of normal then this happened.
“I was shut for five months before but was able to send out some NHS care boxes which I will try and do again. It’s going to be very difficult and once we get back a lot of clients are elderly and shielding, and some may lose their jobs so may not have the income to spend on these sort of treatments.
“I just hope that we can reopen by December as the Christmas trade is our busiest time. I am worried more for the fact that the more time people are doing their treatments at home that they may not come back to salons, but I think I’ll be able to bounce back.”
Gyms & leisure
Tamsin Kilby, co-owner of Energie Lincoln City in the Cornhill, said: “It is a massive kick in the teeth, especially as only around 0.34 per 100,000 cases are from gym visits, which is very low.
“We had such a positive response and membership gain since reopening in July. We are uniquely placed to offer an uplift for people, things that they need even more now.
“We are putting on a wide range of online programmes such as daily classes and Facebook live sessions on areas including nutrition, and new members can still join.
“There will also be challenges via our app which members have access to and we will engage with them to see how else we can help them.”
Kristen Ingraham-Morgan, owner at LN CrossFit on Earlsfield Close, said: “Obviously it is not totally unexpected. We had contingency plans in place as we expected something like this may happen again and we are focusing on the mental health and wellbeing of our members.
“We learnt a lot from the last lockdown, but the financial support won’t be as good as it was the first time so the other concern is minding the pennies and making sure business will be viable.
“I doubt we’ll be open again before Christmas, but we made it through the last one and no doubt will make it through this lockdown too.”
Coaches will check in regularly with members and the gym will also lend out equipment so workouts can be done at home. Zoom classes will be run during lockdown, as well as nutritional challenges.