Businesses are ready to re-open says Horncastle Trade Association member
Kay Burge, who runs a successful recruitment company, said while owners appreciated ongoing concerns about Covid-19, it was the ‘right time’ to relax restrictions.
She said: “It has been a difficult time for everyone but hopefully we are starting to see the first green shoots of a recovery.
“A lot of businesses will welcome the chance to re-open, if the lockdown had gone on much longer it could have been the end for a lot of them.
“The challenge for those businesses is to adapt to the restrictions regarding social distancing.
“I would expect quite a few shops will re-open - with all the right precautions in place.
“Some, like the sweet shop, have already made changes.
“Unfortunately, the hospitality industry will remain closed but the onus is on owners to think of new ways of trading.”
Mrs Burge said she supported a town councillor’s idea of opening up the Market Place for outdoor food and drink.
She also believes more hospitality businesses will have to look at offering a takeaway service - including cafes and pubs.
She added: “We’ve seen in places like Brighton that pubs have been serving takeaway beer.
“Again, with the right precautions in place, that could be an option for Horncastle.
“I think the way we all shop will be very different and it is about how everyone adapts.”
Mrs Burge said her own business had shown signs of picking up during the last couple of weeks, with some staff returning after being furloughed.
She explained: “We never closed during the lockdown but there were hardly any vacancies so we were hibernating.
“We’ve noticed that a few vacancies have started to come in and we’re expecting more after June 15 as more businesses re-start.”
Mrs Burge was full of praise for traders who remained open during the lockdown.
She added: “The shops allowed to open have done a fantastic job and places like Myers re-opening has given everyone a boost.”
Mrs Burge mentioned the fact that several businesses have been providing a service - even though their actual premises were closed.
She highlighted High Street electrician Alan Robinson, who has been carrying out essential repairs for residents - while adhering to strict social distancing rules.
Meanwhile, Mrs Burge hopes the Trades Association will re-launch in the very near future.
She added: “There was a lot of impetus - and some great ideas. Things have come to a halt, but I think there is a real determination to get Horncastle back on its feet.”