How have businesses in Portsmouth responded to the Covid-19 pandemic?

One of the things that has really impressed me during the Covid-19 pandemic has been the response of the local business community in Portsmouth. Restaurants, cafes, local book shops, beauty salons to name a few have all responded in a multitude of ways to keep their businesses operating throughout the pandemic. I’ve put together a list of some of the local businesses I have either been supporting during this time or have been inspired by their flexibility during such an economically difficult time.

  1. Pigeon Books in Southsea. During Lockdown reading has really helped keep me sane. In the ‘normal world’ I tend to view reading as my last option to keep myself entertained, when Netflix fails to provide the goods I usually turn to Spotify. Before completely exhausting all of my social media timelines I *may* consider settling down and reading a book. There are usually a multitude of ways I can distract myself my mind even considers reading a book. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love reading but I really have to be in the right frame of mind to sit down and digest a good book. Personally, I’m not a massive fan of fiction I much prefer non-fiction, particularly anything to do with African American History, social movements, sociology and psychology. In a bid to keep my mind more active and my anxiety at bay I’ve been reading way more than I usually would. Thankfully I came across Pigeon Books who are based in Southsea and have continued providing a delivery service across Portsmouth since having to close the shop. I was even more thankful when browsing their selection of books I spotted a number of books that have been on my Amazon wish list for quite some time. I’m always grateful when given the opportunity to avoid using Amazon! Here are the books I ordered and received just 2 days later:
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts – Gabor Mate & The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper – Hallie Rubenhold.

2. The Tenth Hole – one of Southsea’s most popular cafes The Tenth Hole reopened at the end of May offering whole cakes for collection. As soon as they made this announcement I opened up gmail immediately to place an order! They made the announcement 3 days before my dad’s birthday and had his favourite cake on the menu – strawberry and clotted cream sponge, perfect! I placed the order on a Thursday and the cake was available for collection by Saturday morning. They have a whole range of cakes on offer for collection: coffee and walnut, jam and buttercream, carrot cake and mixed berry cheesecake to name a few. Prices range from £35 to £40 and you can find the full menu list here along with information on how to order.

Strawberry and Clotted Cream sponge from The Tenth Hole.

3. Garage Lounge in Southsea is one of mine and my sisters favourite cafes to grab breakfast and a cup of tea so we were absolutely ecstatic when they began trading again in the middle of May. Garage Lounge, along with many local businesses in Portsmouth have started to utilise Uber Eats delivery service. Along with delivery you can also pick up your order from the cafe at the front door.

Vanilla Latte from Garage Lounge

4. Katy Carter Aesthetics and Beauty based in Tangiers Road is a beauty salon I have yet to visit but do have an appointment booked for the Holy Grail facial in July. Fingers crossed it’s still able to go ahead because I am super excited to have this treatment as I’ve heard SO many good things! At the start of lockdown the salon began selling raffle tickets through their Instagram page giving buyers the chance to win a number of their high priced (and highly recommended) facials. I thought this was a genius idea as it provided the salon with cash flow at a difficult time but also positive content to fill their socials.

5. Bonitas on Palmerston Road is one of my favourite places to get cocktails and a bite to eat and luckily for us they have continued serving delicious boozy brunches throughout lockdown!

6. Providing gift vouchers during lockdown has been vital for many businesses to improve cash flow whilst being unable to open their premises. The Portsmouth News have put together an extensive list of restaurants continuing to offer vouchers and takeaways during the pandemic. It’s not just restaurants offering gift vouchers but hairdressers and beauty salons too, my sister purchased a gift voucher from my hairdresser at Sheppard & Co for my birthday. That’s one gift voucher I’ll be cashing in as soon as possible! Here is some of the great work that Sheppard & Co and given me –

Which local businesses have you been supporting during lockdown?