#NorthantsHour this week: The challenges Northamptonshire businesses have faced this year due to coronavirus

The pandemic that swept the world meant that our local businesses had to think fast and adapt quickly to stay afloat this year.

Friday, 9th October 2020, 1:51 pm
Updated Friday, 9th October 2020, 1:56 pm
Small businesses spoke to the Chron about how they have adapted to overcome the challenges posted by the pandemic in last night's #NorthantsChat (October 8)

On this week’s #NorthantsHour chat on Twitter - which takes place every Thursday from 8pm to 9pm - the Chron started a discussion with our local businesses about how they have had to adapt to overcome the challenges they have had to face as a result of coronavirus.

What are the biggest struggles your business has faced due to lockdown and COVID-19?

Replete Flatbreads (@RepleteFB) said: “Switched over to online orders and delivery to your door, that and SEISS grant kept us going, now back on the farmers’ markets and still doing a few online sales.”

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The Beer Garage (@UKBeerGarage) said: “Working out where to spend, how to react to no markets and no food festivals and hope customers value what you do.”

Ministry of Design (@DesignAmbo) said: “Trying to reignite the business and reconnect with clients after a 4 month mobilisation with RAF carrying out Covid testing. Oh, that and clients businesses in Asia being affected way before us had a massive knock on effect.”

Kerry Leese (@KerryLeese) said:: “Losing premises, a toddler in lockdown then partner being called up to help with covid. It’s been fun.”

What way have you had to adapt or change your business approach to keep on top in current circumstances?

Aflora and Luxegifts (@afloraluxegifts) said: “Contactless deliveries to keep ourselves and customers safe while putting a smile on their loved ones’ faces on all occasions. Lost touch of face-to-face chat in shop though…”

Cheyne Walk Club (@CheyneWalkClub) said: “Had to close for months! Never even closed for the second world war! Having to evolve at some pace, which is the same for many out there. Increasing the business lounge facility, had to drop doing food, had to change the layout of the place, stop selling draught beer as sales dropped, laid off staff, put others on furlough, borrowed loads… same as a lot of hospitality business really.”

When the pandemic goes away, will your business revert back to how it was pre-COVID or will you keep your changes in place?

Matchbox Cafe Northampton (@cafe_matchbox) said: “I think the operative word here is ‘if’. It will never be the same as much as we can try and hope it will be.”

Replete Flatbreads (@RepleteFB) said: “Hopefully back to as it was, but more streamlined and keeping the online sales.”

Cafe Track (@cafetracknn) said: “I can think of one thing that we hope will change.” This is referring to the covid-19 testing centre built just 10 yards away from the door of Cake Track in Market Square, Northampton Town centre.

Martin Sawyer (@Sawyer4NN) said: “We have increased our home working threefold, so now 30% of staff work remotely most of the time. Still had to keep the same office space though to space people out.”

#NorthantsHour chat takes place from 8pm to 9pm every Thursday on Twitter. Get involved in the conversation and have the chance to feature in next week’s chat round-up!