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Customer’s support key for photography business during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 09:35 21 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:38 21 May 2020

Matt Goddard, managing director of Picture Studios. At the studio on London Road North in Lowestoft. Picture: Picture Studios

Matt Goddard, managing director of Picture Studios. At the studio on London Road North in Lowestoft. Picture: Picture Studios

Archant

Management at a popular photography studio have admitted they will not let the coronavirus pandemic get the better of them.

Having been a constant in Lowestoft town centre for almost 15 years, Picture Studios expanded the business to open a new Norwich studio last year.

With both studios having temporarily closed to the public amid the continuing coronavirus crisis on March 23, they may not be able to re-open until “mid-June to early July.”

Matt Goddard, 42, managing director of Picture Studios on London Road North in Lowestoft and Ber Street in Norwich – where fun family photos are captured – said the past few months had “certainly brought its challenges” but admitted it was “nothing we can’t handle.”

Between both studios there are nine people on the payroll, and Mr Goddard said: “Being a business owner, life is never plain sailing so I have come accustomed to dealing with things head on.

“On top of running the studios I am also a local property landlord and a father/foster parent so have had the hurdles of this thrown into the mix whilst running the studios admin side from home too.”

With five children and daily home schooling proving to be big challenges, Mr Goddard added: “On a personal note though, with me normally working out of the house on the business side of things, it has been lovely to spend so much more time with the family.

“Our studio runs a monthly payment scheme for people to purchase their photos over a period of time and this has given the studio a small form of income during lockdown.

“We wouldn’t have let this pandemic get the better of Picture Studios. The Government help has been amazing I feel.

“The Small Business Grant which was made available, and the job retention scheme – allowing me to claim 80 per cent of the wage bill for eight of our staff being furloughed – has been great.

“We have found our customers very supportive and patient in rearranging their photo shoots and waiting for their orders.

“All our staff at the studio and myself can’t wait to be able to get back and continue doing what we love the most, but we want to make sure everything is safe again before we do so.

“With the Government’s slight easing in restrictions, we have seen an upsurge in enquiries from our customers – however nothing for us physically has really changed.

“Our work with capturing great photos mean we have to interact with people very close up, so with this being said – and looking at the government advice – we may not be able to reopen the studio until mid-June to early July.”

■ Picture Studios can be contacted through Facebook or its website.


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