‘We’re itching to get back’: Northampton independent shops and businesses look ahead to next week's reopening
One beauty salon is reassuring customers as all staff have signed up to twice weekly Covid-19 testing
With just under a week to go until non-essential shops and personal care businesses are allowed to open for the first time since January, excitement is building among Northampton’s business owners.
As England continues along the road map out of lockdown, non-essential shops and hair and beauty salons can reopen from Monday (April 12).
Many independent businesses in Northampton have struggled for more than a year, but are now excited and optimistic that this is the end of the last lockdown and that they can start to strengthen their companies once again.
Bias Gift Shop, which moved from Market Walk to the Grosvenor Centre last year, will reopen on Monday and the owners cannot wait to be able to welcome customers for the first time in months.
The daughter of the Bias owners, said: “It’s been a whirlwind for all of us, especially the independent shops.
“My parents are itching to get back. They have missed the regular customers they talk to all the time.
“It will be good for them to get back in and hit the ground running.
“We have missed essential holidays such as Valentine’s Day, which is a big one for us, so we’re now planning for upcoming holidays and what we can do post-Easter.
“It feels promising and we’re hoping people will want to get back out from next week, start to get back to normal and go out to do their shopping.”
The shop will continue to implement strict Covid-19 restrictions including a limited number of customers in the shop at any one time, hand sanitisers located at the entrance, face masks, signage about not touching and more.
Similarly, Beauty With Inn, Harlestone Road, St James, will also reopen on Monday and is hoping to make customers feel safe by informing them that all staff have agreed to the twice weekly, lateral flow testing available to all.
Beauty salon owner, Natalie Faulkner, said: “I’ve had a chat with the team to make sure they are all OK and feel comfortable.
“They are all feeling positive and grateful to be able to reopen again. We are super excited to get back and be creative again and to make customers feel happy again.
“We are just hoping we haven’t got too many disastrous home colourings or hair cuts to correct.
“We’re just making everything at the salon ready to make sure customers feel safe too.
“We want our customers to know that we are happy to keep testing so they know we are Covid-free.”
As well as the testing, the salon has been rejigged to make sure there is enough space between stations for social distancing and staff will also be on shift at different times to make more space.
On Monday, Natalie also plans to roll the red carpet out for her customers is hopeful it will be the last time her business has to reopen post-lockdown.
Message from the editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper while out for your essential shopping.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the highest standards in the world. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news by buying a copy of our newspaper.