Shops and salons cannot wait to finally get back to business

Non-essential shops, gyms and hair salons are counting down to the re-opening on April 12 as the economy prepares to “re-ignite” after lockdown.

Saturday, 10th April 2021, 8:00 am
Stephanie Norris, owner of Joshua Adams Menswear, Cleckheaton.

Traders can’t wait to greet their customers again and none are keener than in Cleckheaton where Project Ignite has fired up the town’s business community.

Shop owner Stephanie Norris teamed up with teenage film-maker Sam Teale to make a video highlighting some of the shops, bars and businesses getting ready to re-open.

Dubbed Project Ignite, the video featured 12 businesses eager to welcome people back to Cleckheaton. The video has gone viral on social media and has been watched thousands of times and Stephanie said: “The reaction has been amazing.

“We have all missed the hustle and bustle of the shop or the office and the town has been so quiet, eerie almost. But what it’s meant for a lot of businesses is the chance to take a step back and look at what they do and how they could do things differently or better. We are all so excited for April 12. There’s a real buzz in the air and a smile on people’s faces.”

Stephanie, who runs Joshua Adams Menswear in Bradford Road, said the pandemic had switched the focus back onto independent shops and businesses which had stepped up to help their local communities.

“I think when we re-open, the independent high street is going to give the big town centres a run for their money,” she added.

There might be excitement in the air but there’s apprehension too. The lifting of lockdown will put pressure on some businesses, such as hair salons, with everyone desperate for a haircut.

Katrina Carter, of The Pin Up Hair Co in Heckmondwike, said this third lockdown had been the toughest so far.

“I am a little nervous because we’ve been closed for so long,” she said. “There are more protocols to follow, more regulations and it’s going to be so busy. Everybody is desperate to have their hair done as soon as possible. Re-opening a small business after all of this is nerve-wracking. Financially it’s a worry, and I worry about how people’s behaviour will have changed.

“Everything is so different but we have to go into it with a positive head on. What else can we do after the year we’ve all endured? Fingers crossed this is the beginning of the end.”