AS we entered the second national coronavirus lockdown yesterday, Shaftesbury businesses and figures have spoken out about plans to survive, shopping local and the timing of the latest enforcement.

One organisation most impacted by the new measures is charity and Christmas card retailer Cards for Good Causes, which had opened more than 150 pop-up shops throughout the UK to get the festive season underway and raise vital funds for charity.

One of these vending points was located in Shaftesbury’s Tourist Information Centre, and manager David Taylor said the site’s closure would be “a big loss for the charity”, with the centre usually selling around 20,000 cards each year.

Speaking to the Journal on Tuesday he said: “This time of year is the best because the shop converts into charity and now we can’t offer that any more. [Since the lockdown announcement] we haven’t stopped serving, people have responded really well which is great as all we want to do is raise money.”

David added that the centre will be open for postal services over the next four weeks, and is prepared to reopen fully once given the green light by government.

He added: “I can totally understand why [the lockdown] was imposed - we thought it would have come sooner. The government tried everything to not shut the town down and it didn’t work.

“It is frustrating seeing indepedent [businesses] close when essential stores and supermarkets sell the same goods, my heart goes out to them.”

Cards for Good Causes Dorset area manager, Sarah Armstrong, said: “The shops are staffed by local volunteers and so much effort has been put into getting [shops] ready and we are devastated for our charities that we are going to miss our peak season of trading. We are likely to lose up to a £1 million nationally.”

Genna Copeland, of Acanthus Flowers and Home, is able to continue her business online as usual, but echoes the importance of this time of year for retailers.

She said: “No retailer wants to be shut in November because it’s one of the best months of the year for trade.

“I would have preferred to have had the lockdown in October as was originally advised rather than lose four weeks of selling time pre-Christmas.

“Local people have been very supportive in the last few months and Shaftesbury High Street has been busy, so I just hope people won’t shop online for gifts during lockdown but will wait until the High Street is open again to do their Christmas shopping.”

As of Thursday evening, in total 2,276 people had tested positive for Covid-19 in Dorset.

Following the Prime Minister’s lockdown announcement Saturday evening, mayor of Shaftesbury Andy Hollingshead said: “This is a worrying time for many families and businesses, but we learnt a lot from the last lockdown.

“I would ask people once again to continue supporting your neighbours particularly those who are most vulnerable, and to continue supporting our local businesses.

“Many shops will continue to be open, or will be online to ‘click and collect’ or to order takeaway food. This is a wonderful town with wonderful, caring people.

"We will get through it together as we did last time.”

Describing the Covid-19 pandemic as “a public health emergency”, member of parliament for north Dorset Simon Hoare said: “The lockdown is regrettable but necessary, and I think that is the general assessment from people I have spoken to.

“There is an understanding that we can’t let this health service fall over and we need to do all that we can to keep the schools open.

“This is a health emergency first and foremost, I think it would be ill-advised trying to go ahead as we were.”

Talking about shopping local through online facilities, the MP added: “We can get through this if we support community shops and businesses, let’s do our bit.

“It would be a tragedy to see them go.”