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Local businesses share the effects of Wales' firebreak lockdown: Griffin Books

 

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.

Mel Griffin owns Griffin Books, located at 9A Windsor Road in Penarth. She said that the coronavirus pandemic has pushed her to adapt and move online.

"We had to adapt very fast, setting up an online shop, moving the team to working from home processing customer orders and enquiries, and shifting our very popular author events programme as well as book clubs, toddler storytime etc. online."

Despite moving online, the support from the local community and collaborations with fellow traders have benefited Griffin Books and other businesses.

"Our customers are telling us all the time how they want to shop locally and support independent traders, and how much they appreciate our services."

"Business at the start of the pandemic was significantly down but has gradually built back up to the same or better than same period last year."

"Our increasing online presence has enabled us to reach a much wider customer base, indeed all over the UK and beyond."

"Fellow traders have been amazingly collaborative and supportive - for example during the recent Welsh firebreak our neighbouring business, Penarth Eye Centre, agreed to act as a collection point for our customer orders, saving us a huge amount of delivery time."

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"Penarth traders all worked together on the recent Totally Locally FiverFest promotion, and are now planning for a Festive Tenner Trail at the end of the month."

"Since the firebreak we've been extremely busy and it's clear that customers are getting on with their Christmas shopping while they can."

"We've had to increase staff hours to keep up with orders. Customers are particularly appreciating the 'private browsing' sessions we're holding after hours each evening."

Looking ahead to 2020 Mel said that Councils and local government needs a "Continued focus on business rates, both short term concessions and longer term reform." with "Continued support both practical and financial for local trader initiatives."

You can find out more about Griffin Books and browse online via griffinbooks.co.uk

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