BEAUTY businesses wasted no time in getting back to work with customers returning through the doors as months of uncertainty came to an end.

Nail bars, beauty salons, spas, and tattoo parlours welcomed back their first clients in almost four months on Monday following the latest easing of the lockdown in England.

Bride Be Lovely Nails in Orford, on Norris Street, reopened for customers at midnight.

Owner Laura Canning said: “It was nice and steady.

“I worked all the way through on Monday as because I have to clean in between I have to spread everything out so my days are taking longer.”

A range of safety measures have been introduced at the nail salon – with equipment, door handles and surfaces cleaned after each client, regular use of hand gel, new screens and use of masks and gloves.

Warrington Guardian:

A range of safety measures have been introduced at the nail salon

However, some establishments have been unable to reopen as a number of treatments, such as eyebrow threading, are not permitted.

Laura rents out a room to a woman who carries out services, including threading and waxing, but she is yet to get the green light to return to work.

Bride Be Lovely Nails was among many of the town’s businesses that received grant funding from the Government during the worrying period.

Meanwhile, Laura hailed her customers for their ‘absolutely amazing’ support.

“I have got an amazing customer base – they are showing the support,” she said.

“It has been really good but I have had a few phone calls to say that they can’t come in just yet.

“So it isn’t as busy as what I expected.”

Warrington Guardian:

Bride Be Lovely Nails owner Laura Canning with a customer

Updated Covid-19 secure guidance sets out the measures that those providing close contact services should follow to protect staff and customers.

Only services that do not involve work in the highest risk zone – directly in front of the face – should be made available to clients.

The Government says it has worked with a range of stakeholders in the beauty industry to develop the measures close contact services will need to consider to become Covid-19 secure.

They include using screens or barriers to separate people, operating an appointment-only booking system to minimise the number of people on the premises at any one time and keeping the activity time involved to a minimum.

Indoor gyms across the town are preparing to reopen on July 25 in line with guidance in place to protect people and curb the spread of the virus.

But Predators Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy Warrington still faces huge uncertainty due to the close contact activities, such as grappling, that usually take place.

Head coach David Mannering said: “We are going to aim for it (July 25) but I have not looked at the restrictions that are in place because obviously we are Brazilian jiu-jitsu and MMA, we are not treadmills and ski machines.

Warrington Guardian:

David Mannering

“They can put screens in between treadmills and weight machines but we are different.

“There is a bit of excitement in the community about opening but we haven’t seen whether there are any restrictions in place.”

Predators, which is based at Tanning Court near the town centre, also received a Government grant to soften the financial blow from coronavirus.

David said: “We have struggled and we want to open as soon as possible.”

Warrington Guardian:

David Mannering

Hundreds of businesses in the town reopened on July 4 as the town’s hospitality industry started its recovery.

Pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants were able to reopen in what was a major relaxation of the lockdown

Acoustic Café in the town centre, on Sankey Street, has suffered as a result of the pandemic but it has accessed a lifeline in the form of a Government grant.

Owner Ian Fitzsimons said: “It is slowly picking up. On weekends at night time it is picking up again, it’s slower than what it used to be but it is slowly building up.

“I have found this Tuesday compared to last Tuesday was a lot better, so it is going in the right direction.

“I feel it’s going to be a while before it gets back to what it should be.

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington town centre

“The acoustic café is a live music venue and on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays we always had live music on.

“Unfortunately, because we can’t have that it has knocked us quite significantly.”

If there is to be another country-wide lockdown as a result of a second coronavirus wave, Ian is not sure whether the business will be able to survive.

He added: “Unless they did another grant or anything like that, I am not sure I will weather the storm if they were to close everywhere down.

“At the moment I’m just focusing on day to day, just trying to build the trade back up.

“Personally, I don’t think there is going to be a second wave as such.

“A lot of businesses like myself are going to extremes to try to make it as safe as possible, for example we have sanitisers all around, we have done the spacing, we are running at roughly 50 per cent capacity of what we normally are and staff are wearing personal protective equipment.”

Meanwhile, a sustained drop in the number of passengers using Manchester airport will have a disproportionate impact on Warrington’s economy, according to Warrington South MP Andy Carter.

Warrington Guardian:

MP Andy Carter

Speaking in a debate in Parliament, the Conservative politician highlighted the critical need for Government support for both the airport and wider aviation sector as the process of opening up the country’s travel corridors continues.

Passenger levels travelling through Manchester have dropped to historic lows, between one and four per cent of the level seen within the same period last year, meaning the airport has reduced its workforce as it battles to reduce its fixed operating costs such as business rates and air traffic control. 

Mr Carter called on aviation minster Kelly Tolhurst to look beyond Covid-19 when making decisions about the future of the aviation industry to help it ‘build back better’.

Speaking about the future of the airport, Mr Carter said: “Manchester’s role as a northern hub airport, its position as the most used airport in the north, and the fact that it is the only airport outside London that has two full-length runways mean that it really does have a critical role for our northern economy and we take real pride in that facility.

“Warrington’s close proximity means that many people who work at the airport live in this area, both flight crew and staff who work on the ground such as border force, air traffic control and baggage, so the impact on aviation will be widely felt in our shops, cafés and restaurants”.

A supercar dealership has lent a helping hand to a start-up clothing brand.

Vanrooyen, which is located at Gemini Trade Park, has allowed Walton-based Milliard to use its vehicles for a photoshoot and marketing purposes for free.

Matt Jordan and Matt Timms are the co-founders of Milliard, which translates to billion.

Warrington Guardian:

Matt Jordan, left, with Vanrooyen founder Martin Rylands

Mr Jordan, aged 27, has been working on the company in the evenings and weekends outside of his full-time job in the commercial field.

He hailed Vanrooyen for its generosity and says his business is extremely grateful.

“The guys at Vanrooyen have offered their cars, as well as business advice and introductions to people, if required,” he said.

“They have said they will help us as much as they can.”

With Milliard set to release its first batch of products to the market, Mr Jordan is confident about what the future holds.

“People potentially haven’t been spending money because they haven’t been able to as much in lockdown,” he added.

“We are hoping that when we launch people have more surplus cash as they haven’t been going out as much and they may want new clothing for when they do go out.

“We have had some troubles as our products come from abroad, so getting it shipped over hasn’t been as straightforward as it would normally be.

“But we have just pushed on throughout this period.

“We are a new brand but we have hopes of going into established retail stores in the future.

“When we start getting a bit of traction and sales start coming through, we will think about where we want our brand to be stocked.

“But to get into stores we need to prove we have a customer base and that our products are sellable.

“Everything that we make will be reinvested into designs, more stock and more marketing to try to grow the business.”

Furthermore, a serviced office provider helped companies make a ‘seamless’ transition to a new way of life during the coronavirus crisis.

Portal Business Centres, on Dallam Court, is a member of the Warrington Business Exchange which brings firms together to network and collaborate.

Managing director Sallie Maskrey says it has been a source of help, creativity and ideas during the Covid-19 lockdown – and she outlined how life has been for the company during the unprecedented period.

Warrington Guardian:

Sallie Maskrey

She said: “Given that we let serviced offices, we can’t stop our clients having access to their space.

“We did have a number of companies, in Dallam Court in particular, where they were key companies of key workers so we had people supplying the care industry, people dealing with care homes, people dealing with care in the community and care for the elderly.

“We shutdown our receptions and meeting rooms – for meeting and greeting people – and those that needed to still came in and used their offices in whatever way they wanted to.”

Portal Business Centres has the technology for staff to take their switchboards home, which has worked successfully for clients.

Sallie said it helped to deliver an almost seamless transition and helped clients carry on as normal while creating a ‘professional image’ of them.

She is optimistic about what the future holds for the business and highlighted the concerns people have for using public transport amid the pandemic.

“Most people now don’t want to go on densely populated public transport,” she added.

“Therefore, I think all those people that have been going into Manchester and Liverpool will start looking much more local to home.”