'They deserve it': Economy booms as indoor dining and activities reopen
- Credit: Ella Wilkinson
Across the county cafes, restaurants as well as indoor leisure activities, welcomed back customers after months of being closed or operating at reduced capacity.
From Monday hospitality venues can serve customers inside, as well as indoor leisure activities like trampoline parks, cinemas and bingo halls reopening.
Chris Sargisson, chief executive of the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce, said: "Those businesses reopening indoor services today have endured the toughest of times and deserve the most fantastic and positive day of trading and many more to come as both loyal and new customers return."
The news comes as data from the Centre for Cities showed a spike in spending and footfall within the retail hub of Norwich.
For the month of April spending returned to an index reading of 95 when compared with pre-pandemic levels, equivalent to the same levels of recorded during Eat Out to Help Out last summer.
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Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich BID, said: “We’re delighted to see the city busy, with people making the most of indoor hospitality and leisure reopening. By choosing to shop and dine in Norwich, the public are supporting Norwich’s local economy, and jobs in the region.
"We know our businesses have worked extremely hard to reopen safely, and Norwich BID are supporting public health with our updated safety animations and social distancing packs, amongst other initiatives.”
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And an increase in demand for hospitality led to a spike in footfall across the city's retail offering, said Paul McCarthy, Chantry Place’s general manager.
“There’s a real buzz in Chantry Place today as more restrictions are lifted and our restaurants and food outlets can welcome customers back to eat inside again. It’s great to see so many customers doing just that whilst abiding by the Covid-19 rules for indoor dining.
“Elsewhere in Chantry Place, Escape Hunt has reopened its escape rooms and many of our retailers are telling us that shoppers are have a great time in their stores," he added.
The news comes as comes as this paper launched its Summer in the City campaign sponsored by Chantry Place and Norwich BID, which encourages people to get out and about in Norwich this summer, and to make the most of its shops, pubs and restaurants and events.