The impact of coronavirus on the city’s small, independent businesses will be "bigger" than that of the Novichok attack two years ago, the chairman of Salisbury Indies has warned.

Susi Mason, who also owns Casa Fina in the High Street, made the remarks as she urged residents to do "all they can" to support Salisbury’s small shops during the Covid-19 outbreak.

"Most independent businesses have seen a drop in footfall and takings but this is the time for people to do all they can to support us," said Mrs Mason.

"[Coronavirus] will have a bigger impact than Novichock, it could be much longer-lasting or more severe so we really need people to come out and support us and buy from us."

At the end of last week, record store Vinyl Collectors and Sellers announced it would be closing until the end of March to keep customers and staff safe.

As more establishments are expected to follow suit, Mrs Mason is inviting residents to continue supporting independent businesses by contacting them over the phone or social media.

"Lots of them are offering extra services including payment over the phone and free delivery," she said.

"The government has also granted permission for pubs and restaurants to operate as hot food takeaways, and many of Salisbury’s eateries have already adapted their business to do this."

Salisbury BID says it has also been trying to support businesses by keep them up to date with the latest government advice and information.

It has set up a dedicated page on its website to sign-post levy payers to the latest news and support for businesses available.

Chief Executive Robin McGowan said: "Once again businesses in the city centre are facing unprecedented and extremely challenging times. Businesses built up resilience following the Novichok incident two years ago, but most businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will be relying on sufficient government support in order to survive. We’re optimistic the government will provide this much-needed support for businesses.

"The Association of Town & City Management work directly with government, and we’re working closely with our colleagues at the ATCM to help set out the support needed for businesses, based on our experience from the Novichok incident.

"The BID’s Board is in regular talks and are closely monitoring the situation to ensure the BID is responding appropriately to the situation and supporting our business members wherever possible."