Leicester toy store owner says financial aid urgently needed to help businesses survive

A Leicester store owner said businesses are in urgent need of financial help if they are to avoid collapse due to the local lockdown imposed on the city.

Joseph Hand, owner of Leicester Vintage and Old Toy Shop in East Bond Street, told the PA news agency that the lockdown has already put his business “two years behind” where he had hoped to be – and he fears that stricter measures do not further retard its growth. .

An Amazon Prime show on how the store survived and went through the lockdown was released on Monday, June 29 – the same day Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the renewal of the strict measures.

Mr Hand said: “We have spent so much money trying to get back on track.

“During the lockdown we had some financial help from the government, but in running the store like this we had a lot of expense.

“The businesses were all set to reopen. We need help.

“We understand that a decision had to be made, but we also need help.

“If it saves a few people, that’s good. If it saves a person, that’s good.

“A life is worth more than money, but the point is, places are going to close their doors and close their doors right now. For some people, this is the last straw.”

Joseph’s Hand Aid Businesses Urgently Need Financial Help

The store had been preparing to reopen, including putting in place social distancing measures and investing in new inventory, but the new measures will result in a loss of walk-in commerce.

Mr Hand said the city was in “deep frustration” but he has a four-year-old son who falls into the high-risk category, so he understands why the decision was made.

A spike in infections in Leicester means there are three times as many cases as the city with the next highest total, and it has become the first place in the UK to enter a local lockdown.

To slow the spread, starting Wednesday, July 1, all non-essential stores must close and schools will close to most students starting Thursday.

Mr Hand said, “We are a vintage toy store, so we sell to adults and we have already lost our old customers, our seniors.

“In the past two weeks, we’ve only seen one of our elderly clients.”

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