It’s been a difficult few months for many people. The whole community has suffered. 

Our High Streets were shut down following the lockdown announcement by the Prime Minister and life changed overnight. The Coronavirus outbreak has had a devastating impact with a huge loss of life across the United Kingdom.

Many businesses closed their doors, not knowing if they’d survive for months without any income. Not every local business has an online income and many have struggled. 

However, today for the first time in three months, non-essential retailers were allowed to reopen. Not only is this good news for the businesses themselves, but fantastic news for those that were so worried about the possibility of losing their jobs. Sadly some jobs have been lost. In Hereford alone, Frankie & Benny’s and Monsoon are just two of the closures that have had a big impact. They leave behind big empty units and a void to fill. 

We have to focus on the positives though. There was a cautious air of optimism in the air today. Hereford came to life and so did our market towns. Queues formed outside popular retailers and our stores showed that they are capable of coping with a new normal. 

The old favourites were back. The character of Ledbury, the beauty of Church Street in Hereford, the independents of Bromyard, Kington and Ross, as well as a new florist opening in Leominster. There is hope and that’s what we hang on to for now. 

Despite the economic gloom, and concerns over a possible second wave, the atmosphere today shows us that by sticking together and supporting our local high streets, we can all make a difference. 

Here’s to Herefordshire.