Backing our businesses as city's shops, salons and outdoor dining reopens
The sun finally came out to help Brighton's businesses on a crucial day in the journey out of lockdown.
The Brighton and Hove Independent was in Brighton city centre this morning (Monday, April 12) and could see the look of optimism on the faces of shop managers, salon staff and those able to serve food and drinks once again.
Hairdressers were hard at work, much to the relief of people who have been desperate to get their hair cut; pub gardens and outdoor seating areas for restaurants and cafés started to fill up after the sun decided to come out; and clothes shops were ready for the rush of people needing to update their wardrobes or kit out their children.
Beauty salons like The Treatment Rooms in New Road were feeling positive with bookings coming in thick and fast and there was huge demand for the niche trainer shop size? in North Street. There was also a big queue outside newly-opened OG Kicks, a shop in Bond Street which sells reloved Nike trainers and vintage high-end clothing.
Of course, we all know the queue for Primark was the biggest in the city and despite it looping up and back down Crown Street before continuing along Western Road, the shoppers in line reported it was moving quickly. Churchill Square got busier as the day went on and the weather improved.
It was great to see so much support for some of the city's independent businesses and those offering unique items that are not available online, including dozens of jewellers in The Lanes.
There is no getting away from the fact that it was very busy in the city and on the trains and some people will feel anxious around the crowds. But most people were following the guidelines, queuing for shops, using hand santiser and wearing masks where needed. And the businesses have safety at the forefront of their minds.
It really is crucial we support businesses but do so in a safe way so they can remain open.
Sarah Springford, CEO at Brighton Chamber, said: "There is a lot of excitement in the air from businesses and residents alike about the opening of outdoor dining and non-essential shops. A huge amount of work has gone on behind the scenes so that it can be done safely and successfully. And it is more important than ever to support these businesses that are a vital part of our local economy."
Gavin Stewart, chief executive of Brilliant Brighton, the Brighton Business Improvement District (BID), added: "We are really excited to safely welcome people back to Brighton city centre. Businesses have been working hard to get ready and we are looking forward to a busy summer. We hope to see you in town soon.”
We would love to hear from local businesses about being able to reopen. Send us an email to [email protected]Have you read: Cheers! People in Brighton enjoying the chance to eat and drink outsideShoppers head to Churchill square in Brighton