Tuesday was a day of mixed emotions for me. As a concerned citizen, I appreciate the need to tackle the rising number of Covid cases and deaths in the West of Scotland by moving into level 4, writes John Turner.
I also have a deep appreciation and respect for those who are having to make these difficult decisions. There are never any easy answers or solutions.
As a small business owner, the move into Level 4 for three weeks at this time of year is devastating. For most businesses, a successful 6-8 week period in the run up to Christmas is vital.
It not only provides a satisfying end to the year, but also provides a financial cushion for the usually “leaner” months of January and February.
This lockdown is going to affect a lot of businesses very hard. Yes, there is support available from local and national Governments, but it is not going to cover everything.
Thankfully, there is something that we can all do to help at this difficult time to support our local businesses, by buying online from them and ordering takeaways from those providing them.
Also, why don’t we leave a message on Facebook or Instagram for our favourite West End businesses, and give them a word of encouragement and support? And then make sure we go and fill the streets and lanes, shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and beauty salons again once lockdown is over.
The Byres Road & Lanes BID’s annual Christmas offer booklet will be issued in an online format this year and will be available from the end of next week on www.visitwestend.com.
It will be chock full of great bargains and offers from West End businesses, many of which can be used both online and in store. Make sure you download your copy.
The Christmas narrative is one of “light breaking into darkness”. The annual Christmas tree will be going up in Vinicombe Street this week, and the lights will be turned on at the end of next week.
This year the BID is delighted to be teaming up with Social Bite’s Festival of Kindness, which will be accepting gifts and donations for those in less fortunate circumstances.
Due to the Level 4 restrictions, the planned on-site collection of gifts is being postponed until after lockdown, but I understand that there will be provisions to make online donations, so look out for more details coming soon.
And finally, they say every cloud has a silver lining, and I realised as I prepared this article that I will only have to listen to endless Christmas songs on the CD player in the shop for two weeks, rather than the usual four. It is good to be thankful for the little things in life!
Stay safe, support your local businesses, and see you in three weeks (hopefully!)
- John Turner and his wife Janet run Janet & John Scottish Arts & Crafts in De Courcy’s Arcade in Cresswell Lane. He is also the Chair of the Byres Road & Lanes Business Improvement District