Monday 19th July 2021 — or ‘Freedom Day’, as it’s become commonly known — will see all coronavirus restrictions lifted in England. The UK government will be continuing to recommend that people wear face coverings in crowded public spaces, but this will no longer be enforceable by law.
It seems small UK businesses are pretty divided about the easing of restrictions. According to a new poll by Simply Business, 53% think it’s too soon to get rid of social distancing measures, and 30% will still keep their own rules around distancing and limiting capacity.
Staff shortages are a very real concern. We’re experiencing a ‘pingdemic’, with over half a million UK residents being requested to isolate in the first week of July — a new record. The British Retail Consortium has reported that there are high street labour shortages of up to 20% in some parts of the country. For small indie stores with only a small selection of staff, the risk is particularly worrying.
How are you feeling?
If we’re honest, we’re feeling a bit conflicted about so-called ‘Freedom Day’.
But we’d love to know how you feel about it. The CREOATE community is such a brilliant and generous one, and by sharing your thoughts and learnings so far, you can help other stores going through the same thing.
Will you be continuing with social distancing measures in store? How are your customers feeling? Have you suffered with staff shortages? Let us know in the comments, or come and join the conversation on our Instagram page.
(And if there’s anything more we can do to support you through this strange time, please drop us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’d love to hear from you!)
We’ll end on a positive note: PayPal’s Business of Change Report found that over two thirds (69%) of owners and business leaders say they feel optimistic about the next 12 months. This next stage is definitely going to present some new challenges, but we’re very optimistic, too.
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