Brixham Chamber of Commerce has been reaching out to support traders in the town.
So far, chamber vice chairman Alex Foley and his team have spoken to around 125 chamber members and non-members.
Alex said: “The main reason is just for keeping in touch and giving some encouragement and support – we’ve had very positive conversations with everyone we’ve called.
“I’ve been surprised at how positive everyone has remained despite in most cases suffering a catastrophic loss of revenue, and a consequent high level of financial anxiety, as well as the same challenges of personal isolation as everyone else.
“At the same time we’ve been making sure people are aware of the various support available and in some cases helping them to access support – in particular the business grants; we found around five businesses who didn’t know they were eligible, and have helped another 15 to speak on their behalf to the council to help their claims go through and the money get sent out as quickly as possible.”
Alex says the message from Brixham businesses is:
- almost every business has been badly affected by the lockdown period
- some businesses have managed to adapt well and built a delivery side to their business
- the Government support packages have been very well received by Brixham businesses
- what we need now is for people to buy local and support their local businesses.
Alex said: “It will make for a very difficult year and, sadly, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some businesses disappear.
“However, if we can get trade during a good chunk of the summer season, we hope that most businesses will survive – in this regard we might be lucky to have mostly independent shops in our lovely town.
“We hear that people are still spending money – and whether the product is beer, jam, wine or hot food, for some businesses this has helped them keep their sales ticking along.
“What we need now is for people to buy local and support local businesses. With local support we can make the second half of 2020 a successful period to compensate for the lost months this spring.”
Original story by Nikki Belso in Torbay Weekly
Reproduced by kind permission of author/publisher