Local businesses in retail and hospitality are having to adapt to stay afloat after a second national lockdown forced them to close for all but takeaway service last week. 

While many accept a second national lockdown is necessary, there are fears the Government’s current financial support package is insufficient. 

The Treehouse board game cafe has been forced to close its doors but will continue to sell board games, beer and snacks online. 

Speaking to Forge Press, co-owner Ruth Haigh, said: “I think the decision to go back into national lockdown was the right one, but I do feel frustrated that it wasn’t done sooner. 

The tier system has mostly felt like a confusing waste of time for us, and the idea of a three-tier system where Wetherspoons is still open in the top tier always felt like madness.”

Haigh said staff are relieved that the furlough scheme has been extended but they will be slowly losing money over lockdown as the grants aren’t sufficient to fund other costs. 

“We’ve had some great support from our community so far and I’m sure they’ll want to help if things get really desperate. 

“I’m optimistic we’ll come out the other side in some form, but things could get pretty tough if the lockdown goes on too long.”

Student favourite, the Nottingham House pub, are restarting their takeaway pie service where people can reheat pies at home. 

Cax Langan, the landlord, expressed frustration that it has taken the government so long to implement this lockdown. He insisted it should have started during school half term, the week of 19 October.

Cax’s disappointment extends to the government’s current financial provision which he hopes will change: “Current financial support doesn’t even cover the rent, never mind bills and costs of closing/reopening.” 

Vittles Cafe, located in Broomhill, are in a similar financial quandary. 

Michael Casswell, owner of Vittles, said the Government grant for their business is £1,334 per month. If they hadn’t made the decision to operate a food takeaway service, their overheads alone would summount to £1,676. 

We hope the takeaway does well to plug the support gaps. Currently,  takeaway is around four percent of our turnover as most customers sit in. This needs to improve drastically.

“In addition to this we are directors of a limited company therefore we receive zero financial assistance from the government for everyday home expenses.

“No furlough, no self-employed grants, zilch. This was the same from 23 March to 31 July and now again for this month.”

In a similar position, breakfast and brunch restaurant, Made by Jonty, is hoping to manage their overheads by opening a takeaway service. 

Opening Friday through Sunday, Jonty invested in a service hatch in which customers can collect food while also distributing through City Grab and Just Eat.

Jonty Cork said: “I’m a lot more prepared for this lockdown, so I don’t think the financial hit will be too dramatic. We won’t go backwards.

“This time of year is classically meant to be very profitable, so we will lose out on that.”

After panic buying consumed the nation during the first national lockdown back in March, Jonty is worried that big suppliers will take trade away from local businesses again.

“If you’re going to panic buy, please panic buy locally.”

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