Cautious reopening for lockdown-hit businesses
AFTER weeks of enforced closure, home working or emergency appointments, businesses in many of the sectors affected by the worst of the lockdown are reopening.
Coronavirus measures are in place with new rules, timed appointments and personal protective equipment becoming normal.
Myriam Rogerson, owner of Frampton Cotterell salon Beauty Plus by Myriam, has recently welcomed clients back to her premises on Church Road.
When she first reopened some facial treatments weren’t permitted by the government, although restrictions were due to be lifted on August 1. This has had an impact on her business, along with the longer time needed for appointments, which ensures social distancing can take place but limits the number of clients she can see in any one day. Her staff now wear PPE and clients have to wear masks.
Myriam said: “The beauty about the preparation for reopening was that ultimately I did not have to do too much, as I uphold a strict hygiene regime at all times. However, what had to be implemented was the extra PPE, which incurred extra cost. I worked on a variety of forms for us to complete the pre-screening with our clients prior to any treatments, as well as to uphold track and trace.
“We are delighted to be welcoming our supportive clients wearing our masks, face shield and disposable aprons – it’s the latest fashionable trend! My clients have been very loyal and with their continued support we should get going once again.”
At The Globe Pub in Frampton, Alex and Lloyd Williams have faced a challenge in reopening safely for customers, staff and their own family.
They started with a comprehensive risk assessment and decided to start slowly by opening only the garden, with numbers limited. Tables have been spaced out, for social distancing and to give staff extra space. There is a one-way system, sanitising stations and extra cleaning is being done. Each table has a QR code so that people can order and pay by phone.
Lloyd (pictured above) said: “We have been collecting customer names and phone numbers, which we keep for track and trace, then dispose of details after 21 days. Everyone has been very supportive and understands that this is for all our safety.
“Unfortunately, like many pubs and restaurants, numbers are down dramatically. People are still unsure of coming out, and we all need to build peoples’ confidence in the safety precautions we have introduced, as safety is the main priority. Customer comments have been very kind, and those that have visited have felt safe and enjoyed their visit.”
Lloyd and Alex hope to open indoors soon.
At AJ Homes estate agents in Winterbourne, all nine staff are now back at work but viewings, valuations and visits to the office must all now be booked in advance and follow social distancing rules. Desks are two metres apart to protect staff, and clients are not allowed past the front desks, which have protective screens.
Director Chris Hodgkins said: “Thanks to the governments’ furlough scheme I believe we’ve saved all our jobs, and they are all local jobs, as well. We still had half the staff on furlough initially, after we first reopened, and now because of the business activity everyone is back in the office.
“We expected the initial surge of enquiries to tail off after a couple of weeks of re-opening but thankfully it has kept going and the changes in ‘stamp duty’ has given the market a further boost.
“The problem now is, what we sell now we won’t receive payment for until the end of the year, so cash flow is going to be a concern over the next few months.”