AS BRITAIN takes the next step towards the end of lockdown, small businesses nationwide can see the light at the end of this lockdown tunnel.
And for Katie Smithies and her partner Jordan, April 12 can’t come soon enough as they prepare to reopen their gym, Elite Fitness in Shaw, for the third time since last year.
Katie, 34, said: “We were closed for roughly 18 weeks during the first UK lockdown and it was a very uncertain time for us. I think not knowing when it would end was the worst part.
“We had to put all of our staff on furlough. It was a very worrying time for everyone.
“When we were able to reopen it was brilliant. We were busy from day one and it was great to see all our members back in the gym, and we gradually started to get the revenue flowing again.
“It took us until November, I would say, to get back to where we were pre-lockdown, but then within a week the second lockdown hit and it felt like all that work had been for nothing.”
Like many others in the leisure industry, the question of when Elite Fitness would be able to even think about reopening their business weighed heavily on their minds.
Katie continued: “It was incredibly frustrating. The last 12 months have taken a toll on us, not only financially but mentally as well.”
“But our landlord has been simply wonderful throughout this pandemic and the support we’ve had from our members and our staff has been brilliant.
“When the government outlined the country’s roadmap out of lockdown it helped us to plan our own little roadmap to reopening.
“We were able to start making plans and at this point it’s all systems go. We really are looking forward to welcoming back all our members old and new.
“Their support has really kept me and Jordan going throughout this pandemic and we would also like to wish all of our industry peers the best of luck as we take the next step towards normality”.
Elite Fitness offers a 6,000 sq ft gym floor with the latest equipment along with two studios for classes, including Circuits, Spin, Yoga and Kettlecise, and private hire.
All classes are currently available online via Zoom until the studios is able to reopen from May 17, subject to Government Guidelines.
If you would like to find out more about what Elite Fitness can offer you, contact 01706 291425 or email email@example.com