Island firms ‘weathered the storm well’
JERSEY’S businesses now need to work on building customers’ confidence to go to restaurants, gyms, shops and supermarkets as the Island emerges from lockdown, the head of a small business support group has said.
Beverley Le Cuirot, who runs the Small Business Support Facebook and WhatsApp groups, which have more than 1,500 members, said that she thought Jersey’s entrepreneurs had ‘weathered the storm’ of the outbreak tremendously well. And she encouraged them to take confidence from that as they faced the continuing challenges ahead.
Lockdown restrictions were further eased earlier this month as the Island moved to Level Two of its safe exit strategy, allowing more businesses to reopen, and further easing is expected soon.
Mrs Le Cuirot said that a key focus for businesses would be making customers feel safe if they wanted to recover as quickly as possible.
‘People will need confidence to return back to the gym, confidence to return back to work and so on,’ she said.
‘We’ve all gone through such a terrific shock and shockwaves tend to reverberate for a long time afterwards as well, so we need to build confidence.
‘This will have to be done safely and it has to be done responsibly – I’m not saying we go crazy and say everything’s fine. What I’m saying is do it step by step, safely and responsibly, and gradually build that confidence so that people start to return to the shops and to the gym as they did before.’
Mrs Le Cuirot said that a lot of Jersey businesses should take heart from how well they have coped with the crisis.
‘Emergencies hit small businesses all the time. So the fact that they’ve weathered this storm should give them tremendous confidence that they can now handle any future emergency,’ she said.
‘We always have to be prepared for things not quite going our way as a small business. So this has been a real learning curve for us all.
‘Initially things might have been a little shaky, but we should face the future with confidence in our own abilities as well. We need to make sure the small businesses realise that they’ve done an amazing job to get this far.’
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