Our local businesses are working hard to keep open and keep customers safe, keeping essential services going during the coronavirus pandemic; they undertake many roles, and we're celebrating this collective show of unity via #YorkKind.
James' story, Lucius Books
We opened our shop selling rare and collectable books, objects and art on Micklegate just over a year ago, after our previous premises on Fossgate was destroyed by floods.
I travel the world buying and selling at antiquarian book fairs, and was attending a fair in New York in March as the city and countries in Europe started to lockdown. I returned to a similar situation in the UK, and closed the shop.
Our staff worked from home at first, cataloguing stock and using social media to promote our website. When the government support arrived, we furloughed most of the staff for a while to help us get through.
We've been doing local deliveries, and are very thankful to Micklegate Post Office for their ‘drop and go’ service to process our parcels for further afield.
We're excited to welcome customers back via pre-booked appointments. This enables us to show our stock in a safe environment and to uphold our personal service. Alongside the usual sanitiser and face masks, we're fortunate that our modern shop has lots of space to maintain distance.
Getting back to normal will be a slow process, as travel has ground to a halt and book fairs are unlikely to return to this year, but it is good to see people venturing out again – we have missed our customers!
Outside of work I have a new appreciation for all of the things we have been unable to do, and am grateful that my loved ones are well. I've enjoyed spending time with my children, finding creative ways for home school learning and getting out on our bikes.