I was in Thornaby Town Centre on Friday, pleased to see that at least some of the former tenants of the inShops have been given a temporary lifeline and allowed to return.
Some businesses have already gone elsewhere and some I suspect have given up the idea of self-employment for the moment, following their terrible experiences in December. However, some were moving back in over the weekend and setting up shop again. I had a chat with the lovely people in the mobile phone accessory shop who were painstakingly re-fitting out their unit after having dismantled it just before Christmas. I also spent time with my friend the rug man who told me that he had transferred his stock and operations to his Middlesbrough unit but was pleased to be able to come back to his second outlet, albeit on a month by month basis. The friendly little cafe has also reopened.
I didn’t get into full details with the tenants, we mainly discussed the impact on their incomes and livelihood, but am assuming that the owners of the building, who also own the wider town centre, have decided to offer this vital support while they decide upon a future for it.
I said it on Small Business Saturday and I will say it again now, it is important that we support our independent traders so I hope you make time to call in next time you are shopping in Thornaby.