AS THE local lockdown in Caerphilly county borough nears the end of its second week, businesses across the board are already feeling the effects - with some reporting thousands of pounds worth of cancellations.

Businesses throughout the region, from beauty to pets, cocktails to tattoos, have seen a sharp decline in footfall and bookings as customers from outside Caerphilly are barred from taking their custom into the borough.

Some business owners have reported their firms are "dwindling" to the brink, with others logging thousands of pounds worth of lost income in less than two weeks.

From 6pm on September 9, restrictions came into place meaning that no-one would be allowed to leave the borough without what was referred to as 'good reason'.

Travelling for work, if you were not able to work from home, to go to school, for making a compassionate visit, or to give care are all permitted.

This means that owners of businesses within the borough, who live on the other side of the border, can travel into Caerphilly to work.

However, their customers would not be afforded the same opportunity.

Laura Wallis, of Vintage Hair Salon in Blackwood, is among those whose livelihoods have been rocked by the lockdown.

"We’ve experienced a 50 per cent drop in revenue," she said.

"This is due to many of our customers living outside the borough and not being allowed to visit us.

"We have lost £4,000 in bookings over the two weeks of local lockdown."

She said that people's confidence had been affected by the regulations, which she said were "conflicting and not very clear".


After making it through the nationwide lockdown, reopening in July was a welcome relief for Ms Wallis, who said she had received "fantastic support" in trying to return the business to some form of normality.

"People in general want to do the right thing," she said.

"I know all the local businesses are trying extremely hard to adhere to all guidelines whilst keeping their businesses afloat.

"But, we desperately need more support from the Welsh Government now. "Many local businesses did not qualify for funding when the original lockdown happened.

"These people put their heart and soul into their businesses and it’s really upsetting to see them under so much pressure and stress."

However, the plight of Caerphilly's businesses is not limited to those offering services to humans.

Sue Parfitt of Pantymilah Kennels and Cattery, Hollybush, explained that a drop-off in people travelling away for their holidays meant that animals were not in need of alternative accommodation.

"This should have been our busiest time; lean times are coming," she said.

"Many lost bookings as people’s holidays are cancelled.

"Customers from outside the borough feel unable to come to us.

"It’s difficult to compete with businesses outside Caerphilly."

Calvin Evans-Morgan, of Caerphilly's Aviary cocktail bar, echoed the urgent need for the region's businesses to receive support.

"We have had more than 100 cancellations just in the first week, a loss of more than £5,000," he said.

"People are requesting deposits back, so any money we did have is just dwindling into nothing.

"We need help."

Cancellations and lost income are something being felt by many businesses.

Nu Rose Tattoos, Caerphilly, lost almost a week’s takings, with clients outside the borough cancelling appointments, while Unique Hair and Training Academy reported more than £2,000 in cancellations.

Lost income is not the only problem however.

The knock-on effect that lower takings can have are also being reported.

Kerry Ford of Image Nails and Beauty, Ystrad Mynach, said: "We're struggling to keep staff.

"Low bookings means less income."

Ms Wallis is now aiming to create a community of support among the businesses of Caerphilly County Borough, as tough times begin to bite in the region.

"We need to stick together and support each other as much as possible," she said.