Portsmouth business owners look forward to reopening in June after green light from government

BUSINESSES across the city will be able to reopen their doors following 10 weeks of lockdown.

Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 5:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 8:12 pm

Prime minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from June 1, with other non-essential retailers such as clothing, book, toy shops and more, allowed to reopen from June 15.

Liz Penman owns Southsea-based plant shop, Rose Clover, in Elm Grove.

She is happy to be reopening after what was a ‘scary’ time having to close her doors with no idea when they could reopen.

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27/11/2018 Liz Penman (31) from Southsea, has opened up her first solo shop called Rose Clover in Elm Grove, Southsea. Picture: Sarah Standing (180851-2452)

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These are all the shops allowed to reopen next month and what will remain shut

She said: ‘I’m so happy to be able to reopen, I was really scared when this all happened.’

Liz moved her business to online only, delivering plant orders across the Portsmouth area, something she will keep in place even after the shop reopens.

She said: ‘The silver lining for me was that I could move my business online, but people might not have bought stuff because they want to see it before they buy it.

‘What I do miss is the team. The good thing is that I can get my staff back in so they can get paid and I can get some support, too.

‘It’ll be great to get back and open the shop so we can start planning some things and customers can come and see the products as safely as possible.’

Lulu Whitmore runs events firm Love Southsea, which holds markets throughout the city, including in Palmerston Road on the first weekend of each month and hopes to restart the markets in July.

She said: ‘I support about 30 or 40 traders whose main income is doing these markets, so it’s a great thing that they’ll be able to do them again.

‘I’ll try and make it so that traders are more spaced out and they each will have enough room to distance themselves.

‘I think we have to start opening up again, we need to start getting people back out. The longer we leave it, the harder it will be to get people out of their homes.’

Mel Davies co-owns Pigeon Books, based in Southsea, with her husband Phil and the pair secured permanent premises just before the start of lockdown.

Mel said: ‘We’re excited to be able to open Pigeon Books at last, although it will take some planning to make sure we can operate in a way that keeps everyone safe. To start off with, we may offer a click and collect option rather than opening the shop to browsers straight away.

‘It’s not the way we imagined reopening but we’re getting good at adapting to the circumstances.’

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