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Business owners 'will not survive a third lockdown'

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'Many businesses are getting ready to open their doors again'

'Many businesses are getting ready to open their doors again'

Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

'Many businesses are getting ready to open their doors again'

Business owners are worried about closing forever should there be a third lockdown, with many of them making preparations to reopen next week.

The country is expected to move out of Level 5 on December 1, and in anticipation of that many businesses are getting ready to open their doors again.

For Daniela Orlea, owner of De Luxe Nail & Beauty in Dublin city centre, this second lockdown has proved to be much more difficult than the first.

"I was lucky that my landlord let me not pay rent from March to July. This time I have to pay it," she said.

Ms Orlea said she's trying to stay positive that business will return in December, although it's clear that it's not going to be the same as in previous years.

"Years ago we used to be fully booked for Christmas week since November, with Christmas parties and all that, but this year nothing is happening," she said.

Worry

"Our clients aren't in the city centre anymore. They're not going to travel just to have their nails and hair done."

Her main worry was a third lockdown, which she said could be a "killer".

Gary Shields runs the CrossFit Gym, in Santry, and is similarly worried about the effects of another lockdown.

He said they can't continue to constantly close and reopen their doors.

"We're doing everything we can to keep all the clients we can, but it's just the inevitability of it," he said. "Most people are coming back, but some aren't."

However, many people are eager to lift weights again and membership bookings have been placed already.

"The demand is actually extremely high," he said. "At the moment it's not quite as high as coming out of the first lockdown, but there's been a lot of enquiries about coming back."

BodyWorks Gym owner Mark Stapleton said the lockdown plan simply wasn't sustainable.

"I don't know if I'll survive the next lockdown," said Mr Stapleton, who owns the Kilkenny gym.

"We knew there was a lockdown going to come at Christmas, just as we know there's going to be another lockdown in January/February."

He said in January people inquire about gym classes, but it's not until February that there's an actual boost in customers.

"November was a really important month for us, that's gone. And then December is not going to be very good, we've got lockdown in January/February. And that could be the end of it."

Maebh Lin runs Q&M Hair & Beauty Salon, on Capel Street, and she explained that Covid has affected consumer habits, as many don't see getting their hair done as a priority.

"Most people have lost their jobs, people don't have that much money, and then they don't go anywhere - they don't really need it," she said.

"If we have to close down, we have no choice. We'll just have to see how long we can hang on."

These lockdowns are also proof of a "lack of imagination," according to PE teacher Paddy O'Reilly, who is also involved with the Mind & Body Fitness Gym in Trinity Comprehensive school.

Imagination

"I do think there is scope for a bit of imagination," he said.

"I think it would be a wonderful opportunity to set up outdoor gyms. I think it would be a wonderful opportunity to open up outdoor cafes."

"Instead of saying the country is shut down, say the country is open outdoors."


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