Salfordians are being urged to pay a visit to their local, independent businesses before giving money to the big chains this Christmas.

Covid-19 has had a major impact on businesses world-wide, with independents being hit the hardest.

The Treehouse Café in Lower Broughton, Salford, was launched just after the first lockdown on the 4th of July 2020, so they know all too well the hardships Covid-19 has brought.

Co-owner Eliska said: “[Things over the pandemic] were hard, but luckily we had so many customers who came in to help us.

“Because we just started it was even harder for us, but on the other hand we were so lucky that we could actually go through this at the very start. It made us even stronger.”

Clouds, a 30-year-old family business in Worsley ran by Bill, Barbara, their daughter Becky and her boyfriend Jordan, have also managed to navigate their way through the struggles of the pandemic.

Bill and Barbara of Clouds

Jordan said: “We had to shut [through Covid] for a couple of months but then we started up a local delivery service and we started up a click and collect.

“We basically found we were inundated with messages. People were locked in their houses and people wanted their luxury comforts, bath bombs, wax melts, all these things that they would usually come shopping for. They were missing out on these little treats.”

“It was like surviving basically, it was nothing like keeping your doors open, but what it did was it kept us in people’s minds and we created like a nice little community.”

It is important to support independent businesses in Salford this festive season, more than ever after the lasting effects of the pandemic.

Eliska said: “For every single owner of little shop or little café like this it is very important to have customers and it is very important to show what they do because they love doing it.

“You get a few customers in a week who come in and are like “oh no that’s expensive I’m going away” but you have to think of us as well. It’s just me and my business partner in the week, so its extra work, extra hours for us.

“We do everything with proper ingredients so obviously its more. We are trying to keep the prices as low as we can but we obviously can’t do it for nothing.”

Becky, of Clouds in Worsley said: “Between all the independents you’ll ever meet, there is a family behind that and without people coming to us and choosing that option of a better customer service a more personalised service that you get from an independent.

“Without people choosing that and wanting that our families wouldn’t be able to do this. It is detrimental to our businesses so we can’t be forgotten in amongst the big shopping rush.”

“It’s super important to not forget your community, without them you’d be nothing.”

Find out more about Clouds here and The Treehouse Café here.

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