Bexhill’s economy ‘buoyant’ in face of Covid Omicron threat
Bexhill’s hospitality and retail trade has remained ‘buoyant’ despite Covid restrictions being tightened due to the emergence of the Omicron variant.
The town’s Chamber of Commerce said there had been a ‘few cancellations’ for Christmas parties but the town was weathering the storm, thanks to its large number of independent, family-run shops.
Howard Martin, the chamber’s president, said: “The new Covid variant is of serious concern to everyone, particularly the hospitality and retail trade but Bexhill seems to be holding up better than other towns in the area.
“Bexhill is lucky that, unlike Hastings and Eastbourne, our hospitality is less reliant of large employers having Christmas parties.
“Most of our businesses are smaller and still very happy to book in to our local restaurants for tables of eight.
“While some restaurants have reported cancellations these have soon been replaced by new bookings mostly from family groups, who seem to be getting together now in expectation that they may be more restricted over the Christmas period.
“While there have been a few cancellations for works Christmas parties overall hospitality is quite bouyant in Bexhill thanks to the family trade and the excellence of our local offer. People want to support local businesses in a way that they have no loyalty to chain restaurants.
“The recent free laser light shows at the De La Warr Pavilion saw most of our restaurants and bars very busy.
“Retail-wise Bexhill again is very lucky because of the diversity of our very much independent high street.
“Bexhill town centre is fantastic because it has thrived as what we like to call a mooching economy, many of our independent shops sell items that you have to see and touch before you buy, classic and vintage objet d’art for example and upcycled lighting fixtures, small unique gifts that have so much more value because they are individually selected rather than bought from an online wishlist.
“While we must all still be alert to the risks of the new variants of Covid we musn’t let it stop us doing our best for Christmas.”