BUSINESS owners on Christchurch high street have thanked that support of the local community during the second lockdown as shops and restaurants reopened across the town.

High Street in Christchurch was busy with residents and customers last week as businesses welcomed back customers for the first time in four weeks.

With many small businesses worried about their sales in the lead up to Christmas, many independent companies have praised the support of Christchurch residents, who came out in force as stores reopened on Wednesday December 2.

Owner of Eden Boutique Helen Emmonds said: “We are very lucky that we have such a loyal customer base in the town that once we were able to reopen, a lot of our regular customers came back to us straight away.

“People want to support small businesses.

“We did a promotional deal during lockdown where we were offering 20 percent off but since we have opened up again, we have gone back to normal.

“Christchurch has some lovely shops, particularly the independents, so it is nice to see the high street busy again.”

Visitor numbers to the area were also helped by the Christmas Market taking place in Saxon Square, with 20 stalls selling crafts and takeaway food.

The market started on Thursday December 3 and will run for ten days until Sunday December 13.

Although they had stayed open during the lockdown, offering takeaway hot drinks and food items, Coast Coffee also reported a surge in sales when they reopened their doors to customers.

Manager Lisa Healy said: “We have been really busy since we have reopened. It has been nice to welcome back our regular customers as well as seeing some new faces.

“Takeaways have been really busy as all our regulars were still coming to pick up a coffee almost every day which was just lovely.

“Everyone is just glad that they can get out and about and support local businesses.

“A big thank you goes out to all our local customers who have been there for us during the lockdown and we look forward to seeing you again in our café.”

Going for Bust, a new charity shop on High Street opened for three weeks before the second lockdown but continued to receive donations during the time they were closed.

The breast cancer charity shop are thankful for residents’ contributions and their continued support since they have continued their operations.

Store Manager Helen Knox added: “I was here on our first day back on Wednesday and it was busier than I expected it to be, especially considered the weather we had.

“In the three weeks we were open before the second lockdown, the response we have from customers was brilliant.

“The feedback we have had from customers about the shop layout, the items on offer and the service they have received from staff has been lovely.”

The charity shop are still accepting donations, which they quarantine for 48 hours before putting out on the shop floor, and volunteers to help out in their shop.