Are lockdown rules unfair on Waverley’s independents?

Gifts galore at Alison Townsend’s store in Farnham’s popular Lion & Lamb Yard.


Is it any wonder that independent shops across the Waverley borough are struggling?

Major supermarkets,  pharmacy chains and gardening centres continue to flourish whilst hundreds of our smaller independent?

Most of us who shopped regularly and supported our independent traders is now during lockdown – forced to buy our cards – birthday and anniversary gifts from major supermarket and garden centre chains, which continue to trade as they either sell food, pharmacy or garden products.

Waverley’s towns and villages are proud of their small independent shops, many of which are owned by local residents, who reflect the originality and character of the town or village where they were founded.

In Farnham, the pandemic has hit our Elphicks store. A business in which its owners have invested heavily in recent years. Another is David Manns in Cranleigh. A family business which has been going strong since 1887 and is now struggling and during `October entered into a (CVA) voluntary arrangement with its creditors.

Here’s a statement we received from one of the most popular independent departmental stores in Surrey.

Statement from the Directors of David Mann & Sons Ltd.

‘Due to the recent challenging retail environment coupled with the impact of COVID-19 the directors decided to take early and decisive action to seek advice on the options for the company to enable it to continue trading, survive the pandemic and trade strongly thereafter.

As a result, the directors appointed advisors to assist them with the company’s restructuring, to address legacy creditors and future proof the company in this current economic climate.

Following the guidance provided, the decision was taken to propose a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

The CVA proposal will enable David Mann & Sons Limited, with appropriate professional support, to provide a mechanism which will allow the company to have a more profitable and flexible business structure thus making sure we have adapted in these unprecedented times appropriately.

We can confirm that David Mann & Sons Ltd. is not in liquidation and look forward to reopening just as soon as this current lockdown allows.’

So come on Waverley residents – let’s all pitch in and help save David Manns? If we don’t it will probably, like so many other businesses,  end up as a block of residential flats?

The Farnham Society, together with Chambers of Commerce around Waverley are lobbying their MPs. However, in the present COVID climate, it is difficult to make a case for opening smaller independents in the dire situation we are in with rising infection rates and hospital admissions rising.
So – how do we help our independent businesses?
When normality returns – and it will – it is then that we return to our village butcher, our baker and candlestick maker. Because they are part of what we are and where we live. They are what makes our towns and villages – and our borough of Waverley special. They need us and we need them.
So let’s do it?

2 thoughts on “Are lockdown rules unfair on Waverley’s independents?”

  1. The latest lockdown IS unfair on small independents but unavoidable in this emergency.
    However you local butchers and bakers are still open, but you’ll just have to wait for candlesticks!
    I have just returned from our local butcher and baker and fortunately they were being supported well which is great to see.

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