Local Stoke-on-Trent businesses: Thriving through lockdown

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A LOCAL brewery has made nearly £35,000 since the lockdown, being one of the few local businesses to thrive from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Many businesses all around the UK have been badly affected by going into lockdown due to the Coronavirus, by having to shut all non-essential shops and businesses.

A brewery based in Stone have managed to turn the bad news around, after being one of the businesses worried about pubs closing and drastic changes this would have to them.

“The Government advice to stop using pubs was catastrophic because 95% of our production is sold in cask to pubs” said the owner of Lymestone Brewery, Ian Bradford.

“The UK drinks industry changed overnight. We have to evolve with it or perish.”

Following the changes in the UK, the brewery built an online shop so that for the first time, people could buy from them online.

“It’s 5 weeks today since we started our online business and to date we’ve done just short of 35K. All online and 95% direct delivered to a twenty mile radius.”

“If I can emerge from this and return to cask sales and add a strong online arm to sales, we will have grown our business in the most adverse of circumstances.”

Lymestone Brewery delivery, ©Lymestone Brewery

“Good as this is, I won’t consider the game won until all my staff are back at work” said the owner of the 12 year old business.

“Currently, 50% of my brewery staff, and all staff at both pubs, are furloughed” said Ian who owns The Borehole pub in Stone and The Lymestone Vaults pub in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Another local business to benefit from the lockdown, is the only hot tub company in Stoke-on-Trent, who have had a huge rise in sales.

“It’s gone hot tub crazy” said Richard Payne, the owner of E.J.Payne Hot Tubs Staffordshire, based in Longton.

The business usually have a much quieter month in April, however since people are having to stay at home, the demand for hot tubs in Stoke-on-Trent has increased.

“We were looking at about 5 messages throughout the month in April last year, and at the moment we’re receiving thirty to fifty messages a day.”

“Within the last 2 or 3 weeks we’ve had about twenty or thirty orders of hot tubs, where we would usually have 4 or 5 throughout this month”.

“I thought I was almost going to have a holiday for a few weeks to catch up on work, and it’s the absolute opposite – I’ve never been so busy.”

Richard Payne, ©E.J.Payne Hot Tubs Staffordshire

Richard has closed the shop and has furloughed a lot of staff but is still working hard to supply people in Stoke-on-Trent with hot tubs.

“I can’t believe the amount of response we’ve had coming in, it’s overwhelming really. It’s only me and one other engineer who are out delivering if it’s safe and possible”.

Since the lockdown, people are spending more time with their families at home, and many are splashing out on a hot tub.

“I think it’s a combination of everybody bored at home, the sun’s shining and a lot of holidays have been cancelled. I guess it’s down to what we can do at home”.

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