A B&B in Lincolnshire is facing long-term uncertainty amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Elm Tree in Hundleby could struggle to stay afloat as they have not been able to open their business because of the lock-down and social distancing rules.
Boris Johnson issued a nationwide lock-down on Monday March 23rd, encouraging people to stay at home and only travel where it is necessary.
Johnathan Wilkinson-White, owner of The Elm Tree, said: “We lost pretty much all of our bookings over night and this keeps going.
“People keep contacting us saying they want to cancel their bookings. We understand but this is a financial hit for us, one of which is an emotional hit too.
“I dread to think about how much money we have lost”.
The business was built from the ground up, with the site being bought as a wreck in 2014 and officially opening in 2016.
The Elm Tree has been awarded as 5* gold bed and breakfast and the prestigious Rose Award for recognition of excellent service from Visit England, within it’s first year.
“Our support from our local council has been massive, East Lindsey District Council have pointed us in the right direction of the financial help we can receive,” Jonathan said.
He discussed how the government’s response to small businesses’ worries was slow burning.
He said: “We do appreciate there was a lot happening but in a week when we were getting cancellations after cancellations, we also need that government reassurance that they were going to support us”.
The Treasury announced on March 17, that a £10,000 grant was available for businesses that do not pay business rates to help them survive this pandemic.
Jonathan, 40, will receive this grant, and will be put towards the running of his business. However, he does not think the money will stretch very far.
“It’s a big house, it’s not going to touch the sides really. This is not going to come through until June, goodness knows how they expect us to continue to pay bills. It’s a scary time”.
The COVID-19 anxiety has taken a toll on the mental well being of those around the country.
Jonathan has shared his own experiences with mental health on social media and encourages people to reach out.
“I continue to worry about the virus, the affect on everyone but obviously for my family, friends and my business.”
“There’s good days and bad days and we just have to ride the storm. We are in this together and by talking about how we are feeling we can support each other”.
If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know, you can contact these helplines and support groups who can offer you expert advice.
The Government have released guidelines on social distancing measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Visit their website to find out more.