Tipperary family jewellers fearful for future of small businesses like theirs

Michael's Jewllers, Thurles

‘Can we survive having been closed for so long?’ And ‘will people have forgotten about us?’

Those are the questions being posed by a local family jewellers as they’re trying to plan for an eventual reopening.

Joan Pollard Carew of Michael’s Jewellers in Thurles says the stress levels of people in small businesses like theirs are huge.

Speaking on Tipp Today earlier, Joan said being in a luxury business makes it that much more worrying:

“Maybe people are buying stuff online but they’re not buying the non-essentials. They might be buying their paint and different things like that to do up their houses.

“But if you’re in a luxury business, people aren’t going to first of all have the money. And then we have all the different things that come along with all of those questions – like, will people comply with regulations?

“If you have a small floor size business, you have to think of your own safety and you have to think of your customer’s safety.”

Continuing, Joan said they’re also afraid people won’t bother waiting outside as they try to manage social distancing:

“…with great difficulty. The only way we could manage on the space size would be to allow two people in at a time for everybody’s safety, and lock the door. Then those people go out and you let in two more.

“Now, that’s fine if you’re in a covered area. We’re on the side of the street and it’s a narrow street so people aren’t going to be comfortable standing outside.

“Ok, maybe they will be for the next couple of weeks if we have decent weather. But when it’s pelting down rain outside, people aren’t going to want to be standing out.”