Local support has helped many businesses to re-open after lockdown

By Mary Dennehy

AS THE country this week reached another milestone in the Government’s re-opening roadmap, The Echo spoke with two businesses that welcomed customers back.

What is evident is the important role local support for local businesses and local jobs has been not just in recent weeks, but over the past three months.

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Brian Redmond (General Manager) and Teresa Geoghegan-Byrne (Restaurant Manager )

This support has enabled many businesses to stay open during lockdown, and is proving vital for many of the businesses that re-opened on Monday – and those still to re-open in the coming weeks.

Nua Hair and Beauty, which opened in the Marlfield Mall in Kiltipper eight years ago, closed its doors in March – laying off nine staff members.

However, they have managed, with the support of their customers, to bring everybody back for the re-opening this week.

Despite the constant worry and uncertainty for many small businesses re-opening, owner Liz Byrne said that the support of their customers and the wider community in shopping local is a huge help.

“People are shopping local, which is amazing… there’s lot of support out there for local businesses”, Liz, who lives in Tallaght, said.

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Kacey Byrne and Niamh Keane from Nua Hair and Beauty

“We were able to re-open because of our customers, who bought vouchers for the salon to help us buy PPE and other safety equipment.

“This support allowed us to re-open.

“Thanks to everyone who supported us, we wouldn’t be here without you.”

Alongside the team at Nua wearing masks, gowns and gloves, customers are also provided with masks and gloves on arrival.

Screens and other safety measures have also been introduced, alongside signage.

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Fiona O’Neill and Sinead Walsh (Customer) in Nua Hair and Beauty

“All of our clients feel comfortable and are happy with all of the new measures we’ve introduced”, Liz said. 

“Everyone is delighted to be back, and it’s more than just people getting their hair done, it’s the social aspect.

“Clients really missed their chats, and we really missed all of the clients ourselves.”

The Old Mill also opened its doors to the public this week, with staff delighted to safely welcome customers back.

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Eddie Mitchell and Paul Mulhall, bar staff in the Old Mill

Speaking with The Echo two days into its reopening, restaurant manager Teresa Geoghegan-Byrne said that by Tuesday, a lot of regulars had already been in for a visit.

Like all businesses opening, the Old Mill and its staff have adapted and are catering to customers under Government guidelines – which has included the introduction of Perspex screens and socially distant seating.

“The Old Mill is so big that we have been able to accommodate the changes”, Teresa said.

“A lot of our regulars have been back and we’re delighted to have them here…. everyone is happy.”

Teresa stressed that all customers have been very understanding of the new guidelines and are happy to abide by safety measures – which includes leaving the pub after one hour and 45 minutes.

Customers have to buy food and drink, which is delivered to tables, and provide contact details for tracing purposes if required.

Teresa also commended the staff at the Mill who have embraced this new way of working, and for helping to re-open the pub safely.

The Mill, which employs 80 people, who will be brought back on a phased basis, is offering a reduced ala carte menu daily from 1pm to 9pm – with booking in advance encouraged.

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