Help shops in Eastwood and Kimberley bounce back after hard winter of restrictions
Shops on Eastwood and Kimberley’s high streets were alive with the hustle and bustle of customers again this week after a long winter in lockdown.
Non-essential retail businesses were given the OK to reopen on Monday as part of the next stage of lockdown lifting on the Government’s roadmap to normality after the Covid-19 crisis.
The reopening has been a relief for many businesses in the town – but now the hard work really begins as shop owners try to bounce back from the crippling blow.
Eastwood shop owner Emma Hemstock, of Kitty’s Handmade in the town, is looking forward to a brighter future and urges shoppers to explore the less well-known areas of town to find independent hidden gems as they get back on the high street.
She said: “The last 12 months have been challenging to say the least.
“I am, however, optimistic for the future – it can only get better.
“We now need more support for small businesses that are tucked away in Eastwood and Kimberley. Like mine, for instance.
“I have a workshop on the top floor of one of the buildings in the Craft Workshops.
“I am a printing business but before the pandemic I ran lots of craft classes and workshops, which I feel was essential to the crafting community.
“There are quite a few businesses in the Craft Workshops but we are very much tucked away and not visible on the high street.”
Shoppers in both towns are now being strongly encouraged to get out and show support for local small businesses by using the shops on their doorstep.
Coun Milan Radulovic, leader of Broxtowe Borough Council, is urging residents to shop local.
He said: “Throughout the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, we have tried to work with and support local businesses.
“It has been an incredibly difficult time and I welcome the easing of lockdown restrictions and the safe reopening of many businesses.
“The council will continue to work with local shops and businesses to operate in a safe and professional manner.
“We will continue to monitor infection rates and ask all customers to observe the working arrangements as recommended.
“Let’s all support our local shops and businesses – think local, shop local.”
According to data from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), almost two thirds of small businesses in Nottinghamshire expect their performance to improve this quarter.
But it is ultimately up to consumers to help get local shops back on their feet again.
FSB development manager Natalie Gasson-McKinley said: “It’s great seeing town centres come back to life.
“Business owners have worked hard to keep their businesses from closing completely and our high streets look all the better for it now they have reopened.
“It’s fantastic that our shops can get back to doing what they do best.”