Calderdale shops and salons ready and waiting for grand re-opening
Business owners across Calderdale are looking forward to brighter times ahead when they get to re-open on April 12.
As lockdown restrictions gradually continue to ease in England, non-essential retailers as well as hairdressers and salons are among the businesses that can open once again from the start of next week.
Jinny Riley, owner of the Word of Mouth craft shop in Hebden Bridge said: “I’m really, really looking forward to it, because I need to. I can’t wait to see my customers again, it’s part of my social life so I’ve missed them all.
“What I sell, arts and crafts supplies, it’s very tactile and people want to come in with their ideas and discuss them with me and brainstorm together.
“I’m looking forward to being busy again.
“I was in the throes of making a website before lockdown and I’ve been building that up over the past year but it takes a while for your online presence to become established, so I really need to open now.”
Jinny is confident that people will come flocking back to Hebden Bridge when restrictions are lifted.
“The food places are still open and people are coming into town, but it just needs a bit of life breathing back into it again and I just hope it holds out this time and we don’t have another wave,” she said.
“Hebden Bridge is renowned for being a little town with lots of independent shops in and I think people like to come here and go walking, have a mooch round the shops, so I think it will be busy.”
Kate and Colin Lyall have owned Lyall’s Bookshop in Todmorden for 20 years. “We don’t open Monday or Tuesday so it will be April 14 for us but we’re looking forward to it,” said Kate. “We initially did some selling over the internet to people who were off work in the first lockdown because lots of people have been locked down without the chance of buying anything to read.
“But people have been working more this last lockdown so we’ve not had very much in the way of sales so we’ve been pretty much shut. “It’s a relief to be opening again and lots of our customers have been ringing and asking when it’s going to be and if we’re opening again, so we’re obviously needed.
“Because Todmorden’s such a pretty little town we do get lots of visitors. We’re also lucky that there’s quite a few people in the area who are big readers so I’m fairly sure we’ll probably be back to normal soon.”
Laura Bottomley opened her business, Full Extent Hair in Sowerby village, in October. “I can’t wait to re-open, it’s been a long four months,” she said.
“I only opened for four weeks over December and had to shut again. I’ve just had four working weeks basically.
“It’s my dream, wanting the salon. I had so much time last year to sit and think about what I wanted, then an opportunity came up and I was like ‘I’m going to go for it’.
“Since closing in December, I’ve used the time to expand on training, things I wouldn’t have had time before to do.
“I announced I was opening the diary a couple of weeks ago and since then it has just been manic, I think I’m booked up until June.
“The support has been amazing throughout it all, if anything this pandemic’s brought people together in a sense of supporting each other, it’s been unbelievable the amount of support you get. “Even the locals walking past when they’ve seen I’ve been in the salon doing things up, they’ll say ‘good luck, it’s such a shame you’ve been closed but the village is supporting you’, it’s been really nice.
“It’s definitely been testing times, there’s been times when you think ‘have I made the right decision’ but then I come up and sit in the salon and think ‘you know what, I’m going to smash it when it’s open’.”
Janet Brunskill, owner of Park Row Hair & Beauty in Brighouse, said: “We’re really looking forward to it, we’re just hoping that people will trust what we’re doing.
“We’ve got a list a mile long of people that want to come back. The hair and beauty industry has definitely suffered and is still suffering.
“I’ve had the whole salon decorated, we’ve made sure all our Covid procedures are in place for the long-term because I’m sure things like wearing masks and social distancing will continue for a long time.
“But we feel confident we’ve got everything in place and we’re really eager to get back to our clients who we haven’t seen in a long time.
“It’s a personal thing, we become friends, I suppose that’s why we’re so busy because we do consider them as friends and family and it’ll be lovely to see them.
“We’ll have temperature checks coming through the door, we go to greet them at the door so they’re waiting outside if they’ve got an appointment.
“We don’t let anyone in the salon unless they’ve got an appointment. We ask people not to bring anyone with them so we can socially distance everybody and we’re prepared for how any people are coming into the salon.
“We’ve got two salon rooms upstairs and a big salon downstairs so we’ve been able to spread our stylists out so we’ve not had to cut down on staff or any hours.
“Each stylist has their own station and that’s where they stay. We clean every section after somebody has been sat there, we’ve always had freshly washed towels and gowns for each new client.
“We’re not serving coffee and tea, but they can bring their own in a disposable cup and take it away with them.
“We are accepting cash but we prefer card payments.”
The business employs nine staff and opened in 1998, moving into their current premises in 2012.
“It’s been terrible,” Janet said of the last 12 months, “it’s been really hard on our industry, the hair and beauty sector especially because I feel we’ve gone to great lengths to make sure we’re as safe as we can possibly be and we keep our clients as safe as possible.
“We’ve put extra restrictions in place on top of our usual guidelines.
“Getting the confidence of clients is our main concern because we want people to feel safe and we’ve had so much good feedback from our clients, saying that in a lot of cases we’re the only place they’re going to, they’re not going to the shops or the supermarkets, but they will still come because they feel safe.
“Because we’re hands on we’ve got to be hygienic so it’s just building on the guidelines we set ourselves.”
Debbie Ryan, who owns Hipperholme Hair Boutique, said: “I’m super excited, fingers crossed this is the last lockdown we have and we can get going going and see all our clients.
“It’s starting to get really busy (with bookings) so fingers crossed it keeps that way.
“Being a business, it’s a bit of a worry with the economy and how it’s going to be affected after all this, but fingers crossed it’s looking really hopeful and people want to come back and have their hair done.
“When this happened, my salon had only been open 18 months so it was just getting going and becoming something and then we were shut.
“So I do feel I’ve missed out, not just money I could have earned, but growth of the salon and being a different place now but for Covid.
“I could have been a lot further on in terms of stability and growth.”