Norwich Market traders remain optimistic amid second lockdown - with 30 stalls still open
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Traders at Norwich Market - where nearly 30 stalls remain open during lockdown - have said they feel brighter about the future.
Spirits were higher among stall owners at the city centre market after saying they felt more optimistic ahead of Christmas despite the tighter restrictions.
For Ana Bridgman, owner of Chilean street food stall Cocina Mia, the key has been adapting business after the first lockdown.
She said: “I’m feeling much more optimistic this time around and made a few changes. For example, I’ve made a website and am processing orders through there which is keeping me ticking over.”
When the second lockdown came into force, Ms Bridgman had a few days off and said her first day back, on Thursday, was as “busy as it has been” these past few months.
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She said: “It seems to be going pretty well so far although not back to pre-Covid levels.
“If this lockdown goes on longer for a month, that is when I would start to worry. In January, nothing much happens so we rely on December and Christmas trade to cover it. Lots of places would struggle if we weren’t able to open or there were tighter restrictions next month.”
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Ben Irving, trader at Pickering’s, a butcher shop, said footfall had improved compared to the first lockdown, although was still 50pc down for the same period last year.
He said: “It was busy the week before lockdown. It has been quieter this first week of lockdown but online sales are doing well.
“What we’ve found this time around is that Saturday is a quieter day and then it’s busier during the week. More people seem to come then to shop.”
Mr Ivring said they did not have concerns over the survival of the business.
He added: “I think we’re alright. If there was a longer lockdown or another one we would just stay open and pick up extra from the online store.”
Sev Kara, who was helping out on her father’s Tukish food stall, Delight, described the current situation as “a purgatory stage.”
She said: “This lockdown has definitely had an impact on business. It is a true unknown. People seem wary about coming out, although we are still getting trade from non-regular customers and construction workers.”
Ms Kara said the greater concerns, however, were new businesses.
“They’re the ones that will really suffer” she said.