The ‘Beast from the East’ (parts 1 and 2) cost many local businesses thousands of pounds in lost revenue and the plummeting temperatures left companies out in the cold.
Although it was fun to enjoy a day out of the office and see the kids play on sledges and lob snowballs, for many self-employed people personal fun can be tainted by professional fear.
Here at the Advertiser, staff were unable to travel to work due the extreme weather and we had concerns that our pages would not be ready for the print deadline for the first time in our 18-year history. Many of our customers faced similar staffing issues and were unable to send us their adverts on time.
Thankfully, I was able to work extra hours over the following few days and caught up with the backlog. However, I was fully aware of the financial hit some of our customers suffered. While some restaurants and pubs managed to increase turnover as people used the opportunity to have a long weekend, other businesses were forced to close their doors as both staff and customers were unable to travel.
It was saddening to hear that closures meant produce wastage, operational costs and wage bills for many local companies, who received little or no income during the disruption.
Small businesses face big challenges from ever-increasing business rates, the internet and national competition. Like many of our readers I try to buy locally where possible and am grateful for the top quality products, service and advice I receive every time. Local companies are at the heart of our community and it’s now more important than ever for us to get behind them and show our support.
When you spend money in the local economy, you are not just helping local business owners – you are also helping yourself. You are making our town a better place to live in, with a thriving economy and a close-knit community. And the more local businesses prosper, the more new ones will open, making it easier to continue shopping locally in the future.
In these pages you will find a fabulous selection of high-quality, hard working and highly competitive local entrepreneurs – all looking for your support.