Given the government restrictions announced on Saturday 31st October 2020, all of Newquay’s non-essential businesses have been forced to close temporarily for one month but for Newquay’s many car garage and repair businesses, it is ‘all systems go’ as they find themselves busier than ever.
During the first national lockdown, motorists were handed a six-month extension for MOTs, so garages are still working through this backlog alongside their existing regular customer base who would normally be servicing their vehicles at this time of year. The town’s garages have put extra measures in place to ensure their premises are COVID-secure and to guarantee the utmost cleanliness and safety for customers and staff during this pandemic.
As ever, Newquay Business Improvement District (BID) is there to support businesses throughout these difficult times and is keen to do as much as possible to help everyone navigate these unchartered waters. The BID would like to hear any suggestions of what that it can practically do to support businesses.
Some of the Newquay-based car garages that are still functioning and ‘keeping the wheels turning’ during this period include; Atlas Garage in Wesley Yard, Tower Road’s Tower Garage, D.A.M and Central Garage on Seymour Avenue – all of which are hardworking independently owned garages.
Jon Plater at Atlas Garage said, “We are here and open for business. We were actually able to remain open all the way through the first lockdown but the work noticeably tailed off due to the lingering uncertainty around everything. This lockdown feels very different for us and our workload certainly hasn’t slowed down which is brilliant. We are noticing that many people who are off this month on furlough leave are using the time productively to get their car sorted out and booked in. This is great for us and we are very grateful for the support and to be able to remain in business.”
Jon continued, “It is a busy time for us as we’re dealing with the MOTs that were deferred from the extension as well as our regulars who usually book in at this time of year. But we would like people to know that we are here, available and just a phone call away.”
Jessica Chesworth, office manager at Tower Garage said, “As an independent garage, we are very fortunate to be able to remain open throughout this lockdown. We are very much business as usual on our MOTs, repairs, servicing and tyre services. We’re currently open from 8.30am – 5.30am Monday to Friday and some Saturday mornings from 9am to 1pm. During the first lockdown, we were a one-man operation doing everything we could for key and emergency workers’ vehicles which was a privilege. We have all the systems in place to ensure our working environment is fully safe for all staff and customers. For example, our mechanics are continuing to wear gloves within vehicles to avoid cross contamination, and we have taken extra measures to keep cleanliness at the highest standard. We very much appreciate everyone’s ’ support.”
Carla Jones, Newquay Business Improvement District (BID) Manager, said, “Newquay’s garages are vital businesses, continually supporting our resident population, as well as many visitors when we are not in lockdown. And they’re currently doing some brilliant work, providing vital repairs and ensuring that cars can remain on the road, keeping things moving in all senses of the word. This is obviously particularly important for keyworkers and those who cannot work from home and still need to travel and for life in Cornwall generally!”
Carla continues, “Most of the garages in Newquay are smaller independently-owned, incredibly hardworking businesses and we’re pleased that they are still able to operate and continue their critical work. As ever, we are really proud to be part of such a vibrant, resilient network and we are constantly amazed at the creativity, innovation and spirit continually demonstrated by Newquay businesses of all sectors. Keep it local and make use of what is on your doorstep during this time, businesses are reliant on us all to keep them afloat and offer some support during the challenging times we find ourselves in. Part of Newquay’s charm is how we sustain a plethora of businesses in our wonderful town. We all need to do what we can’.”
Concerning Newquay BID support for these member businesses, Carla said, “Knowing that many will be concerned about the impact that these challenging circumstances will have on their businesses and also the welfare of staff, both physically and financially, the BID website is being updated regularly with advice and information as soon as we have it. If any members have literature that they wish to circulate to the wider community, or changes to their opening hours or operating plans, then Newquay BID can help share that info across its platforms. Businesses or individuals are encouraged to send content, queries, feedback and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com”
Newquay BID is currently in its renewal process and is hopeful for a third-year term, during which it will play a pivotal role in Newquay’s economic recovery. BID-levy-paying businesses received their ballot papers on November 9th, after which they have a 28-day period to submit their ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote. The postal ballot will close on December 10th at 5pm with the result being announced on December 11th. If the vote is successful, the third term of Newquay BID will commence on April 1st 2021.
Over the past ten years, Newquay Business Improvement District (BID) has established itself as an integral catalyst, a constant business and community support provider and a key driver for new businesses relocating to the town. The not-for-profit organisation is also a vital body providing ongoing powerful local, regional and national advertising, media, digital communications, PR and marketing campaigns for Newquay.
A ‘yes’ vote will not only secure circa £150,000 per year over the next five years to spend on re-investing into the town, but we will also simultaneously look to secure additional funding via grants and match-funding as and when the economy allows.
Newquay BID’s business plan is available to view in full via Newquay BID’s website at: https://www.newquaybid.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Newquay-BID-Third-Term-Business-Plan-2021-2026.pdf.
Image credit: gov.uk