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Businesses in ‘Affluent and Thriving’ Guildford Now Rely on State Support, says Sky News’

Published on: 22 Mar, 2020
Updated on: 23 Mar, 2020

By Hugh Coakley

Emotional and heartfelt interviews on Sky News with Guildford business owners on Friday, (March 20) concluded with the stark message that even affluent and thriving businesses in Guildford were now reliant on state support.

Julia Lampard at the Julia Lampard Hair Salon and Cinzia Leccia at the Blue Sardinia restaurant, both in Sydenham Road, showed how the crisis was affecting the small independent business owners when interviewed by Sky News.

The Guildford Dragon NEWS spoke to Julia on the telephone. She said she was grateful to the government for the support for her business and its 10 employees. “I had a meltdown at first when I thought we couldn’t survive.”

Julia Lampard gave an emotional interview on Sky News where she said that she was feeling more positive after government support was promised.

She said that she had been paying tax and contributing all her life and now: “This is the time to feel secure that the government is behind us.

“I know this will be controversial but I think that Boris is doing a great job. He is being serious but also keeping up our spirits.”

She was pleased with the cuts to business rates, the support for staff wages and the holiday period for mortgages as her husband’s work had dried up. She was also looking for a rent “holiday” which she understood was being discussed with Guildford Borough Council who own the premises.

Julia Lampard with some of her staff outside the salon last year. The Guildford Dragon NEWS featured the hair salon as the ‘Indie of the Month’ in April 2019.

There have been quite a few cancellations at the salon “which is fine” said Julia. “Our clients have been amazing but they are worried. Older clients are concerned about the health aspects and the younger ones about their finances.”

Some of her staff will be working fewer hours and getting less pay but they are being great, she said.  “We are all in this together.”

It is hard to see a positive side to the crisis but Julia was determined to be optimistic. “This has been positive for the world as we are all working together. People are so good. It is making us see things more clearly and hopefully it will be good for pollution.

“I feel that there is now a chance for the planet. I just hope we don’t all go backwards when it is all over.”

“We just need to be protected somehow as it is no-one’s fault,” said Blue Sardinia restaurant owner, Cinzia Leccia on Sky News. All pubs and restaurants have now been ordered to close.

The Dragon has asked GBC about their policy on rent holidays on council properties and other support for business and domestic tenants.

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