Coronavirus & small businesses

My social media feeds at the moment seems to be full of loo roll memes, pictures of empty supermarket shelves, hand washing infographics and a lot of bitching about Boris.

Amidst all of this, I’ve seen absolutely nothing about the impact COVID-19 is going to have on small independent businesses, particularly those providing a face to face service... like us, your local pub.

To put it into context, in the last 4 days, Coronavirus has cost us £10k in lost bookings for this month alone, and those are the ones that I can trace specifically back to the virus as their reason for cancelling.

Now top that off with the no shows, the very slow to no up take on future bookings and the possibility that this could go on for weeks if not months? Well that’s a pretty damn terrifying situation for anyone, let alone a small family run business with no overdraft or borrowing facilities and despite all of this, we still have to pay our team, we still have to pay our rent, our utilities and our suppliers, to name but a few... business must carry on “like normal”.

Trust me I completely understand the fear, the severity of the situation and the need for people to keep themselves and their families safe... All that I ask, is that If you’re fit and healthy; maybe don’t cancel your lunch reservation and if you really do need to cancel, whether that be for a bedroom or a table, please do so with some notice. That way we can adjust our rotas... regardless of whether the online line travel agents are allowing you free last minute cancellations or not.

 So please folks, spare a thought for your small independent businesses while you’re panic buying loo roll and maybe stop into the pub for a quick pint on your way home.

These small steps will be the difference between us, your best mates hair salon and village shop actually being open after this is all over.