Perth business owners have responded to the First Minister’s announcement that new lockdown measures will be reintroduced after Christmas.
Nicola Sturgeon made the announcement on Saturday, confirming most of Scotland would enter a three-week period of “level four” lockdown measures from one minute past midnight on Boxing Day.
But small business owners in Perth have expressed their concerns over the measures after what has already been a difficult year.
Trudy Duffy-Wigman owns quilting shop, The Peacock and the Tortoise on the Fair City’s George Street.
She says the new measures will mean she will not have an income.
“As we are a non-essential shop, we will have to close in accordance with government guidelines”, she said.
“When I lock the door on Thursday Christmas Eve I don’t know when we will be able to welcome customers again.
“Normally we would open with a sale but we have already put that on hold.
“I am happy that I will be able to pay my staff because of the furlough scheme.
“They are all wonderful and very understanding of the situation. Many will go the extra mile to be helpful.
“But as the owner and manager, I will have no income when the shop is closed.
“We all fervently hope that 2021 will be a better year.”
The new measures come as a significant blow after an already tough year for local businesses.
Trudy added: “We have seen a sharp drop in custom this year.
“Many of our quilting community and customers are not coming out. We have had no classes, which also made a marked difference.
“In November and December people, usually buy gifts but that has not really happened this year.
“All in all not a good year.”
Meanwhile, Sophie and Neil McEwan – who own the newly opened Quince and Cook on Princes Street – described the move as “sombre”.
Sophie said: “As with many independent retailers yesterday announcement was a sombre one.”
She added: “We had been expecting further restrictions but our heart goes out to everyone who’s Christmas plans have now been cancelled.
“This will be our first January as shopkeepers, so having the doors closed for an extra few weeks will be hard but, as 2020 has taught us, independent retailers are determined and passionate souls who will try their upmost to keep things going and adapt encourage sales in other ways.”
Garry and Hazel Smith own Concorde Music in the city, and will have to rely solely on their online shop.
Garry told The Courier: “We will be closed during the lockdown and can fulfil orders online.”
He added: “I can’t see what will come after the three weeks.”