Businesses in Epsom are expressing their excitement at welcoming customers back after months of restrictions aimed to curb the spread of Covid-19 are eased.

The economic impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to be felt on the high streets of the borough as future Covid-related government support for businesses remains in doubt.

Consequently, Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (EEBC) are hoping to encourage residents in Epsom, Ewell and Stoneleigh to support businesses in the borough by shopping and spending their money in the area wherever possible.

"Our traders have been through a lot this last year and it has been good to see people returning to our shops, pubs, cafés, restaurants and other businesses," Councillor Colin Keane, chair of the strategy and resources committee said.

Surrey Comet: Nicci and Sara at All Things Nice cafe Nicci and Sara at All Things Nice cafe

"There is a great entrepreneurial spirit in Epsom and Ewell with a wide range of independents as well as the larger retailers and hospitality venues.

"The Council has worked closely with local businesses throughout the pandemic but some are struggling, hit by the combined impact of Covid and changes in shopping habits.

"I am constantly told that residents want to support their local area. You have the power to make a real difference to the success of our local businesses with the spending decisions you make," he added.

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A range of business owners and staff also spoke out in messages they hope will encourage residents to consider giving them custom in solidarity with the wider community.

One of those was Angie Starr of Happyglaze Ceramics.

"I am so pleased our doors are back open and we're really excited to be welcoming customers back into our Covid secure studio," she said.

"We've focused on reopening bigger and better, with new techniques, products and services, and can't wait to share them!"

Elaine Teague at the Epsom Playhouse meanwhile expressed the team's joy at finally being able to welcome back theatre fans after more than a year of lockdown.

"We’re really looking forward to reopening next month. The continued loyalty and support for The Epsom Playhouse has been greatly appreciated by the whole team during the last 15 months," she said.

"It will be fantastic to see our patrons returning in the up-coming months to enjoy all Epsom’s local theatre has to offer".

Carlos Laorden at Blacks Burgers in Epsom added that the business had survived through Covid so far thanks to the customers.

"Blacks Burgers has been able to carry on thanks to all of the customers that have supported us, and for that, we'll be forever grateful," he said.

"We're very happy to be back open and ready for dine ins. Be safe in the knowledge that our mission statement has remained the same: Serve the best burgers possible, in a safe comfortable environment (and of course all safety aspects relating to Covid have been addressed, and government guidelines are being adhered to). We can’t wait to see you all soon!"