Over a week after Wales’ Firebreak lockdown came to an end, we spoke to local business owners about its impact on their business, as well previous lockdowns and the pandemic as a whole.
Mark Lloyd is the owner of Brawd, at the Goodsheds in Barry, which opened shortly after the initial lockdown.
Brawd hold outdoor gyms, from idyllic beaches to plush parks and its outdoor gym (The Trên Station) and indoor container gym (The Locker).
Looking back to the initial lockdown, Mark told Bro Radio “During lockdown one, we had to adapt our business model almost overnight to continue to provide a service for our members and of course keep trading!”
“For the first few weeks it was more of a novelty and a temporary change but as the weeks and months rolled by we realised that this was a really important part of our members health and wellbeing (and my own!).”
“Throw in the biggest change to our business since we started mid way through (The Goodsheds)… well let’s just say it kept me busy and “challenged”.”
“Firebreak 1, we once again flipped to an online model but with a much lighter touch.”
“Whilst we again saw a loss of business walk in busines and drop in, we used the time wisely to become more “Covid Proof” by investing in a winter cover solution for our Outdoor Gym at the Goodsheds – The Trên Station.”
Despite the challenges which lockdown has brought, Mark says the support of his members has helped him get through – saying “Our business is built on the support from the local community – our members.”
“All I can say is that I was truly humbled by the support of our members throughout this. Some of them kept their membership going during lockdown and didn’t attend one single online session.”
“Now we are in the Goodsheds, the support and community with the fellow traders is really unique as we’ve all had different challenges throughout and being able to talk through these with your peers is really important.”
With the future still uncertain and the potential of further lockdowns, we asked Mark what support he needs to plan for 2021.
He said “As a micro-business the financial support has been a lifeline to our business and like so many, I’m not sure where we would be right now without it. Praise where praise is due for the support from WAG when we needed it. However, I do think that ERF 3 was a bit complicated for the purpose of the fund and needs to be injected into local businesses quickly!”
“And of course, we and other businesses that make the community of Barry what it is, still need to be supported until we are able to trade with no restrictions or be given time and continued to adapt our business models to the new “normal” for the rest of 2020 and into 2021.”
You can find out more about Brawd Fitnesss via www.brawdhealth.com