Small firms miss out on England bonanza
PUBS, fast food joints and hotels may be counting their takings this week – but many of Ipswich's smaller businesses are bemoaning their losses.Lots of small shops and cafes suffered this week.
PUBS, fast food joints and hotels may be counting their takings this week – but many of Ipswich's smaller businesses are bemoaning their losses.
Lots of small shops and cafes suffered this week.
Takings dipped on Wednesday as people stayed away from Ipswich town centre on the day of the England-Croatia match – and they barely reached normal levels by the end of the week.
Bob Zablok of Chocolate Boutique in Dial Lane said that the second half of the week had been quieter than normal.
He said: "The town centre was dead on Wednesday. There was nobody walking through.
"We had been looking forward to increased trade, especially as there were about 30,000 people attending the match, but maybe they were kept out of the town centre.
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"Normally on match days we do about 50 per cent more trade than normal as people buy chocolates and ice cream but on Wednesday we did about 50 per cent less."
Roger Halfyard, of Pickwicks Coffee and Tea Shop on Dial Lane, agreed that match-day visitors kept out of the town centre – but added that many regulars stayed away too.
He said: "We lost all our regular people, as everybody who normally comes into Ipswich stayed away as they thought there might be trouble.
"We had about half of our normal trade on Wednesday and Thursday was not much better.
"This match did not do anything for the actual people of Ipswich."
Even some pubs suffered.
P.J.McGinty and Sons, of Northgate Street, operated a pass-only system on Wednesday – so that only their regulars could watch the match. But many stayed away fearing trouble.
Mark Collins said: "Business was not as good as we expected on Wednesday. I think police presence frightened people from coming into town
"It was much quieter than normal – I think people were scared of trouble."
In contrast, fast food places were busy, many pubs were heaving with match-watchers and hotels were booked out – often for more than one night.
Bob Feltwell of Ipswich Chamber of Commerce said: "Retailing did not do very well. Wednesday was like an average Monday when it should have been much better.
"The match was not a benefit to the retail community and there has been a loss of takings this week.
"Generally, though, hotels, fast food restaurants, petrol stations and pubs did well."