The independent businesses in Bristol thriving in spite of Covid lockdown

  • Report by Ellie Barker

Big chains on our High Streets may have had to close over lockdown but some small independent businesses are thriving.

Diane Dettering, who runs an online candle business in St Paul's in Bristol has seen sales go up by 60 per cent since the start of the pandemic. So what does she believe is the reason? 

She said: "I don't know if it's because people are at home and wanting to make their home surroundings as comfortable as they could - and what better way to do it than with candles and diffusers and room sprays and wax melts?"

Diane believes that, while the future is not clear - there is definitely hope...

"People that are either self-employed or run their own small businesses typically can weather the storm because they're used to the ebb and flow of money coming in...

"Nothing to this degree but I think that small businesses definitely, if they can ride the storm, they'll come out on the other end so much stronger."

Anna Clements has seen a huge rise in business at her Bedminster shop, despite lockdown restrictions. Credit: ITV West Country

Anna Clements, who owns a shop in Bedminster in Bristol, agrees. She has seen her sales increase five times since the first lockdown.

She said: "When we reopened in June, although we were only allowed a couple of people in our shop at any one time for social distancing, we saw our shop sales increase by 30 per cent."

The business was even able to move to a much larger shop in November and Christmas  was its busiest yet.

Anna moved to bigger premises in 2020 and the store had its best Christmas ever. Credit: ITV West Country

Anna believes people are thinking more about their local communities and what they are buying.

She said: "I think people have really thought about how they want their High Street to look at the end of the pandemic and what they want still to be there."

Both Diane and Anna say the last year has shown the true essence of small businesses. Anna said, "I've seen so many small businesses like myself work so hard this year to keep their businesses afloat and I'm just very proud to be part of that community."

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