Kent businesses emerge from lockdown with gusto

This past year has been a very difficult time for everybody, but, for businesses this became more than just a struggle, some were only just coping financially and physically.

Now that lockdown has lifted, companies are now able to reopen following the government’s guidelines. Although some have found lockdown tough, some have been able to come out of lockdown beaming and ready for business.

Canterbury hub reporter, Elicia Motta, explores how Kent is coping after 410 days of lockdown.

One business in particular, The Nook Folkestone cafe, opened up their business in July last year but had to shut for takeaways soon after due to the lockdown restrictions. 

The Nook Folkestone cafe. Picture: The Nook Folkestone

Although the cafe was able to carry on during the pandemic, “lockdown deceased sales as we had to shut/open for takeaways” mentions James Cantor, aged 25, owner of The Nook Folkestone cafe.

Mr Cantor goes on to say, “We’ve added more seating out of the back of the cafe, put some tables and chairs out the front and have turned the origins inside seating area into a shop to try and make the most of the current situations.

“It’s been really good so far, so long as the weather is okay.”

Due to the recent change in weather, keeping open cafes and restaurants has been a struggle for the businesses as not many people want to sit outside in the rain/wind and the businesses are missing out on money by staying open hoping customers will turn up. 

The weather has affected many businesses. Would you still go out in the rain? Picture: The Nook Folkestone

The Nook Folkestone have been promoting on their social media trying to engage with their customers and are offering customers a loyalty card to encourage them to return.

Being open as a cafe instead of takeaways has impacted The Nook Folkestone cafe positively as their business is now ‘booming’ with businesses.

“For us physically it is better. People phone through orders sometimes as our number is on Google. Which is a nice additional perk” says Mr Cantor. 

Since the lockdown has lifted, cafes and restaurants have had customers queuing out of the doors. For one some businesses the government’s restrictions still affect they way that they can work.

The band, Ozzie and the Uglies, are still unable to do any indoor gigs at pubs/venues due to the Covid restrictions. 

Ozzie and The Uglies performing over a year ago before the pandemic. Picture: Ozzie and The Uglies

Karl Dawson, aged 29, is the lead singer of the band and has commented saying “it has been tough.” According to the government’s website, entertainment venues inside are unable to reopen no earlier than June 21. 

“Restrictions are a pain but the health and safety of us and the public are important” says Mr Dawson.

Although the band are unable to perform indoors they have had a few outside but were unable to perform some due to the weather. 

The band performing outside at The Grove Ferry Inn. Credit – Ozzie and The Uglies

Mr Dawson goes on to mention, “we are still struggling financially as restrictions are still in place but we have around 90 gigs booked in for the rest of the year so should be very busy when everything opens fully.”

Slowly around the UK, businesses are beginning to reopen. Although many businesses did not make it to the end of lockdown, for others their businesses are starting to boom. 

 

Has your business been busy since reopening?

Yes
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