By Tyler Yems
As of yet, the financial effect of Covid-19 on the country is uncertain. Over the next few months, it’s possible we will see lots of businesses struggle and try to recover from the current pandemic. Lots of small business face tough times ahead of them, after many looking to have to close for at least 3 months. With many staff being furloughed and some even losing their jobs. The situation is changing daily, but at the minute any non-essential shops are closed. This is the same across the nation.
In Cornwall, lots of businesses rely on tourists and trade in the summer to carry them through the year. One business that sees a rise in sales during summertime is Cream Cornwall based in Falmouth, an interior design and soft furnishing store. Co-owners of the business Allison Hughes and Rebecca Heane currently have shops in Falmouth and St Ives, as well as on online store.
Cream Cornwall was founded in 2012 and was initially an online business, but Rebecca and Allison decided to open their first shop in Falmouth in 2016. With more than 10,000 followers on Instagram, the company has become hugely popular and has been featured in Country Living magazine to name just one. With thousands of happy customers and a growing business, summer of 2020 was looking like a busy time for them. Little did everyone know that business would not carry on as usual.
When the Government announced that non-essential businesses would be shut, many people’s jobs were put on the line. Cream Cornwall employs 15 people and is one of many who’s sales will decrease during lockdown, meaning owners will have tough decisions to make over the upcoming months. The situation is changing daily, but by the looks of it, this summer will be unlike any other. Tourists will not come flooding down for their summer holidays to sunny Cornwall, and will not be spending money in local shops.
Cream Cornwall sell a variety of interior products such as cushions, mirrors, furniture and mugs. The Falmouth shop is on the main road of the Cornish town and it’s beautiful exterior is very inviting and in peak months, can see up to hundreds of visitors a day. The St Ives shop is smaller but still very popular during the summer season.
Rebecca and Allison, who design majority of products sold have not let quarantine stop the design process as they’ve just debuted a new collection. The reef collection, would have been a physical launch with instore promotions, but instead it’s limited to online only at the minute.
With the changing situation, nothing is certain. However everyone involved in the business is committed to getting things back to some sort of normality for 2020’s summer season.
I managed to speak to co-owner Rebecca Heane about the affect of Covid-19 on the business and the furlough scheme currently in place.