'Times are hard, but we are lucky - seriously...'

Antiques on High in Sidmouth

Antiques on High, in Sidmouth - Credit: Vince Page

While the economy showed a growth of a miniscule 0.1 per cent in October, it was without doubt comforting for business owners that it was heading in the right direction, but it appears Omicron has put pay to that.

Some would tell you that the economy was slowing before Omicron was confirmed, yet it sure as hell hasn’t helped, and with the cloud of uncertainty circling above like a kettle of hungry vultures, many businesses are facing a challenging time ahead.

Recent announcements on the re-introduction of further restrictions - and the potential for more arriving in the not too distant future - have taken their toll on many in the service industry, with bookings being cancelled just as those businesses thought they may be able to re-coup some of the substantial losses suffered over the last 18 months.

We should be grateful, seriously.

Why? Well, take a look at some other countries, who are in a far worse condition than us. 

We have a very good rate of vaccination throughout the population, against the backdrop of a far lesser percentage in some countries, who are really struggling to deal with the current wave of infections. 

While things may not be looking too clever at the moment, it could be a lot worse.

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For those with retail premises who face the inevitable “I’m exempt” claim from someone who enters your store without a mask, it can a be a fractious situation you are faced with, determining who really is genuine as, “I’m exempt” certificates can be downloaded for free by anyone with a printer and internet access with no proof required of a genuine exemption. 

Do remember, even if you only work in the business, you have the right to refuse entry to anyone you wish, irrespective of Covid.

Some people have wandered into so many stores unchallenged for their lack of mask and consideration for the rules they actually feel offended if they are asked to leave, and as Chris Witty said last year, Covid is going to be with us for a while yet so we need to get used to it and follow the restrictions when they are implemented, if we want to stand any chance of a happy Christmas.

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