Independent Salford gin distillery Four Sis4ers has spoken to Salford Now about their experiences during Covid.
The uncertainty for businesses during the Covid period was one unlike many had seen before, with the country being put in and out of lockdowns, tier systems, and capacity restrictions.
Now as the country has seemingly been asked to ‘Live with Covid’, these independent businesses can look forwards to recouping the money lost and building towards the future once again.
However, within the Covid period, the Government had in place multiple relief and rescue schemes in order to keep these businesses afloat, which caused a mixed debate about if they were enough to save or keep certain businesses on track.
Independent Salford gin distillery Four Sis4ers faced these same struggles, and Lucy McAvoy, sales and marketing director, revealed what schemes they benefitted from, and to what extent they affected the business.
McAvoy stated that the business managed to secure four of the government’s financial schemes while Covid impacted the sector.
These were the Furlough scheme, business relief rates (where businesses qualified depending on the size of their premises), tier two deficit (due to the open bar they also boast), and the bounce back loans that relieved any immediate pressure.
McAvoy stated that the funds they received did not match what they would have made if they were open and that if they had not managed to adapt their business, she would be sat there saying the Government did not do enough, and may not even be sat there at all.
Speaking about getting back after Covid, McAvoy said: “Recovery is slow, we’re trying to bring multiple revenue streams back to where they were before.
“During the actual lockdown it was easy to predict that our trade revenue would disappear, but our online and ecommerce took a huge spike.”
Describing how changes in restrictions effected their business, McAvoy said:
“We did have to furlough a number of staff as the work in which their role was assigned to was no longer there.
“From a production point of view we had to keep our staff in as we still had to produce what our product was”.
Although like many other businesses, Four Sis4ers had to adapt to the different changes in Covid restrictions, and did so through making hand sanitiser.
“We did a pivot and started to produce sanitiser so our production staff became even more important”.
All the changes in restrictions made it tough for businesses to build for the future as they could not predict how and when things would change, and it can be seen here just how much things changed over the last two years.
Infographic credit: Libby Baker
The recent scrapping of self-isolation has caused debate among the business sector, and when asked about the recent scrapping of self-isolation, McAvoy said: “As a business, yes we do welcome that massively especially with regards to the events and allowing the public to have that engagement with us.
“We can get back to a sense of normality”.
This has allowed the business to now switch their full attention to moving forwards and putting the last two years behind them, and have done so by purchasing a new still.
“We’ve taken our production from 200 litre to 500, more than quadrupling the capacity we can produce.
“It’s the start of a fresh chapter in the world in which we live in right now.”