After a whole year in the pandemic, Do you ever think what would of happened if it never happened? Or if anything over the past year was slightly different? That sliding doors moment. Maybe things would be better, maybe worse, maybe no change, who knows.
I’ve been very fortunate that my business is based on a popular seaside destination that will always get some footfall, and will always be busy when the sun shines. I would say that during the whole pandemic, I’ve been ‘shielded’ (excuse the pun) from all the hardships that some businesses have faced during the past year. I’ve been lucky, I had a relatively good summer and a website all ready well established, which gave me a good head start during the first lockdown.
It’s only recently during this current lockdown that I’ve seen, read and witnessed the real impact it has had on some businesses. Closures, changes, owners and staff having to finding alternative income, it’s been difficult to now witness this and hear the struggle.
As a business owner, I know you have to be in love with your business to make it succeed, and when you’re in love with something and that love is forced away from reasons out of your control, it can be heart breaking. I’ve heard of several local businesses that are closing, closed or changing due to the pandemic. It’s only since hearing about these that’s I’ve started to realise how damaging the pandemic has really been and things could have been so different for my business if there was just one minor change in circumstances during the past year. It made me think about that sliding doors moment, what if this never happened? Would things be the same, would we have just carried on as normal, would the current struggles be smiles? I know I’ll certainly be making changes to my life because of this, change that might not have occurred if I didn’t. Maybe all the businesses facing hardship would still be thriving, and planning for the future. But what if other variables had been different for me during the past year? What if I didn’t have a website, what if it rained all summer? What if the location of my business was different. This recent lockdown has been very tough but the relatively good summer and ‘online buzz’ during the first lockdown has helped ease the burden. I’ve been very lucky and fortunate to still be in business. A little change in any one of these variables and things might have been a bit different. Recent news about business closures and changes has really affected me, It’s hit me quite hard thinking about it, just knowing they won’t be around anymore. Some of these aren’t just businesses, they've become friends. There’s a lot of change going on and this change has had a serious impact on my outlook. Also, knowing they’ve had to make difficult decisions has made me think an awful lot about ‘what if’ this was me.
Going forward, my plan is to use the ‘Barrybados’ platform to support as many local businesses as possible, helping them out in anyway I can. It’s been a tough year, and I know how much time and effort goes into chasing a dream, get the business off the ground and keep it going. When local businesses are affected, lives are affected, the pandemic has already caused enough damage and grief. I hope the ‘shop local’ message is finally hitting home. Local businesses are people just chasing a dream.
things could‘ve been so different this year, a slight change in any variable and I might be writing something different. I’m fortunate to still be here and ready to go for another summer season.