TWO family businesses have shown the resilience and pain faced by Tenbury shops over an unbelievable nine months.

Their determination has been matched throughout the town.

Garry Thompson runs Mr Thoms in Teme Street whilst a few doors down Sarah Thompson has the card and gift shop Special Occasions.

Both businesses, like others throughout the town have suffered during a year that has seen first the floods and then the Covid-19 pandemic.

But it has been Special Occasions that has been hit hardest.

The February flooding resulted in severe damage that caused the shop to be closed for more than six months.

Because of coronavirus, there were delays in getting the work done but after a major refit it opened again at the end of October, only to have to close again within days because of the November lockdown. This resulted in lost sales during one of the most important months of the year and compounded the loss of Easter, Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day.

Some sales were made through orders taken on social media but for shop’s like Ms Thompson’s the risk is of being left with Christmas stock that cannot be sold in time or returned to suppliers.

Mr Thompson, escaped the worst of the flooding and because the shop sells food Mr Thoms has not been as badly affected.

The first lockdown was used for major investment in the business and a delivery service was started.

Mr Thompson says that he fears for businesses that have borrowed and taken advantage of the Government support but face having to start making repayments before there has been time to see a return on investment.

Another two family businesses that have suffered this year are run by Carole Collier and her son Jonathan Mullins. Ms Collier’s women clothes shop ‘Smarty Pants’ was closed for months because of flood damage before reopening in temporary premises just a few doors away.

Ms Collier’s son Jonathan Mullins has faced the double whammy of flooding and coronavirus in his shop ‘Smart Fellas’ first year of trading although his premises were also not badly damaged by the flooding.

After being allowed to reopen there have been Covid safe procedures to put in place including the need to steam clean any clothing that has been tried on and returned by customers.

Both mother and son operate in the fashion sector and so the risk of being left with seasonal stock has also had to be taken into account.