AFTER the introduction of a localised lockdown in Torfaen, business owners have been discussing how the new restrictions may impact trade.

The new restrictions mean people cannot meet other households indoors - for instance at a pub or going shopping.

Vicky Augustus, who runs The Waterloo Inn in Cwmbran, said she was worried the lockdown could force a number of pubs to close for good.


"I run a pub and with the two-metre rule it reduced my inside capacity from 60 to 18," she said. "Luckily I have a large beer garden so over the summer people were happy to sit in the garden, but now they aren't as the weather has turned colder.

"My takings were down massively this weekend compared to last and it is just going to get worse the colder it gets.

"We have tried our hardest to make our venue Covid-safe and have enforced the rules with our customers, which 99.5 per cent have followed.

South Wales Argus:

The Waterloo Inn in Cwmbran. Picture: Google Street View.

"This is more than likely going to kill our business, which we have put everything we had into and have built up over the last nine years.

"We will no longer be classed as a viable business due to [Welsh Government] restrictions.

"We also live above our pub so will lose our home too if it comes to that.

"I am not saying we don't need to be careful, but we cannot justify putting businesses at risk like this in such numbers as it will cost us all more in the long run."

South Wales Argus:

Rosa Newton who has opened Reloved by Rosa in Old Cwmbran.

Rosa Newton, owner of the Cwmbran vintage store Reloved by Rosa, said the restrictions may have a more significant impact on businesses in town centres

"It feels completely different [to the initial lockdown]," she said. "Everything was closed then. It doesn't feel the same now, but it is limiting.

"I had a customer who was going to pick up an item, but then couldn't because they lived outside the area.

"It will affect different businesses in different ways. I get a lot of people from the area anyway, but if your business relies on people coming from elsewhere, like businesses in the town centre, it might have more of an effect.

"It's about trying to be flexible and offering different options to customers, for example posting or holding an item until after the lockdown."

South Wales Argus:

Nichola and Allun Davies from Ragamuffins Emporium in Pontypool.

Allun Davies, owner of Ragamuffins in Pontypool said he welcomed the business support announced on Monday, but there was still a lot of uncertainty going forward.

"When lockdowns were introduced in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Newport, we found we had fewer customers coming in store," he said.

"We welcome the support for businesses announced on Monday.

"We are pushing online again, so we are hoping that keeps us going and hopefully with the support that will help us through.

"Everything's different now. No-one knows what will happen.

"The only concern we have at the moment is we have had a pause in business rates. They've said these restrictions could be with us for another six months. What happens in April when that's due to start again?"