Bourne business launched a week before lockdown optimistic ahead of reopening
The pandemic has been disastrous for business the world over, but in Bourne there is cause for hope.
Incredibly among the closures, new businesses have launched during the last 12 months, including the aptly-named Don’t Lose Hope gift shop, café and soft play centre Full of Beans, and just last week, Italian takeaway and restaurant Il Mulino.
Elsewhere, Bourne Bookshop moved into bigger premises, as has town salon, The Cutting Room which opens its doors on April 12.
The long-awaited day of reopening will be a big chance to make up for lost time, particularly for Linda Unwin.
Having retired after a 45-year nursing career, Linda fulfilled an ambition when she opened ladies’ fashion, jewellery and gift shop Dani’s of Bourne on March 6 last year.
Within a week the first national lockdown had closed the doors.
“It was so scary, we put everything into it,” she said.
“People were so excited to have the shop open, but then it was like the Scarlet Pimpernel, now you see us, now you don’t.
“We were constantly opening and closing, like the other shops.
“It has been a challenge, but I'm an optimist so we go with the flow, get ready for spring and fingers crossed for April 12.
“We did click and collect for a bit, but when Covid cases were rising so badly, we stopped it because we felt we should take some responsibility and not encourage people to come to the shop."
Despite the setbacks, the early signs gave grounds for hope.
“When we were open, it was very successful," she said.
"I had a figure in my head of what I wanted to achieve and we tripled that.
“InvestSK has been very supportive with grants here and there.
"It’s not huge, but it's been enough to pay my rent and bills on the shop and not have that worry.”