A FORDINGBRIDGE business owner says he is “holding on” to survive a third lockdown.

Malcolm Carter, who runs Retro Barbers in Fordingbridge and Downton, is just one of a number of businesses that has had to close due to the lockdown.

He says it is a “bit daunting really” but “you are going to have to survive”.

“The impact of this one, I think is going to be worse than these last two, depending on how long. The longer we are shut the more the money is running out in the sense of paying the bills.

"We still have bills for our shops and are still getting charged for rent and rates. It is going to be a big impact again. I don’t know how many businesses can survive this to be honest. It is quite sad really. But we have to get this under control,” said Malcolm.

“It is not just us in Fordingbridge. Everywhere and everyone has taken a big impact on all this. I think it will get worse before it gets better.”

During this lockdown Malcolm has got a care job to ensure he is able to “keep on top of things” but feels more financial help is needed for small businesses from the government and local authorities. He also believes landlords should provide more leeway over rent.

“I’ve had Retro in Fordingbridge for seven years, I’d hate to see that go under. It is the same with Downton, which is two years coming up in February. You’ve put all that hard work into it and then you get all this but we can’t do anything about it, it is just the way it is,” he added.

“We are just going to hold on and see what happens. That is all we can do.”

When businesses return, Malcolm is urging people to support their local high street.

Fordingbridge retailer Dave Tree of All the Cool Stuff, who is part of the Keep the Heart Beating campaign to promote businesses in the town, said: “It is never a good time to go into lockdown but I think if you had to make that call you could say I’d rather this rather than if we did March again. Fingers crossed this is the last one we have to endure.”

He added: “All you can really do is hope there is an end in sight with the rollout of vaccinations. It is better to have that as good news compared to the first or second lockdown. This one you know there is something that will potentially bring back some sort of regular way of life.”

“The majority of the businesses will be affected but nowhere near the first two lockdowns, which were much more painful,” said Dave.

But he said: “Everybody is taking an absolute belter on this one.”