Lockdown easing: Expert reveals he expects cases to rise
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Crusader featured his plight last June when the store Samuel James Jewellers in Bournemouth that he had just taken over – and put his all into – was hit by lockdown. A treasure trove of affordable, mostly vintage pieces with a creative repair service, it was everything Sam had dreamed off and put his all into. But with no sales and rates to pay, he fell through the cracks missing out on qualifying for a Coronavirus small business grant by just a day.
“I knew if it stayed this bad I would never be able to reopen and my dream was over,” he told Crusader last week.
But fans of shopping local, family and friends all rallied round after learning about his struggles and some new small grants he was eligible came on stream keeping the business alive.
“That’s what has got me through,” says Sam. “I stopped worrying about the future. I hoarded every penny so I could buy stock.
++ If you’ve been affected by this issue or feel you’ve been a victim of injustice, please contact consumer and small business champion Maisha Frost on [email protected]
“I’ve noticed people linger longer when the window is packed with displays. Sparse and modern seem less popular, perhaps because we’ve been so isolated. My customers seem to be all ages and very aware of how much it matters now to shop local and help their town.”
He will begin selling online but his heart remains in the high street. “There’s no soul working alone in a room with a computer,” he says “Retail is about people.”
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