AS WE enter the second week of the national lockdown, more Shaftesbury businesses have shown optimism and support for the measure, despite the sudden four-week closure.

Jewellery retailer Golden Snowdrop, which opened its doors in the town’s High Street at the end of October, has closed as a result of the latest rules, but owner Stephanie Dowthwaite says retailers are more prepared for this lockdown than the first one back in March.

“There are always concerns with opening a new shop, especially this year, but we were prepared for this,” she said.

“I think most businesses are more prepared for this than they were for the last lockdown, as we all knew there was a chance this would happen. We just need to do what we can.”

“I’m still finishing valuations and repairs, we’re adapting as we can and just building and pushing our upcoming website,” Stephanie added.

“It is different because [the government] came to this decision now for a reason, so we just need to hope it works.

"It would have been better for smaller businesses to hold off until after Christmas but we need to do what we can now.

"I would not want to be a politician having to make these decisions because there is always going to be someone unhappy with the outcome, [as it] affects them differently.”

As well as shops, the latest restrictions have caused arts venues and restaurants to close once more.

Following the closure of Shaftesbury Arts Centre, Jenny Parker, the arts centre’s chairperson, said: “Just as our audiences were beginning to feel confident and comfortable returning to the arts centre, we feel very sad having to close our doors again.

“However, in the spirit of the arts centre we’re already planning for the future. When we’re able, we’ll invite our exhibitors back to the gallery and we already have a programme of recorded theatre performances to be shown on our big screen.

“Our postponed film, Summerland, will also be ready to go and Zoom rehearsals for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe are underway in the hope that it can be staged at the end of January. The show must go on!”

Reflecting on its progress leading up to the second lockdown, The Grosvenor Arms general manager Sam Hill, from the hospitality sector, said: “The Grosvenor Arms has been doing a great trade since reopening in July. It’s been very popular and had great success despite the curfew and other limitations.

"Room sales have been strong proving that Shaftesbury is a very popular destination.We will close completely from Thursday and reopen as soon as we are allowed to, picking up exactly where we left off.”