A ‘corona coaster’: Upminster yoga studio founder on business challenges during Covid-19 pandemic
PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 June 2020
Two leisure businesses in Havering spoke to the Recorder about the challenges of the Covid-19 crisis as they remain closed.
Hannah Noble co-founded yoga studio A Fine Balance and described her experience since the pandemic began as a “corona coaster”.
The Upminster unit has been shut during the coronavirus outbreak and indoor fitness studios are set to remain closed until at least July 4.
Hannah said: “It’s just really hard. We took the gamble of opening the studio two years ago, put so much effort into it and really worked so hard and then this happens.
“It’s a little bit soul destroying. I’m still working really hard to make it happen but who knows if it’s going to work?
“We are seeing so many yoga studios closing already around London and part of me just thinks is it easier just to let go or do I keep pushing at something that I have no idea whether it’s going to work?”
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The business has been streaming classes online seven days a week and she said they have seen a 35 per cent increase in attendance compared to the studio.
Hannah, from Harold Wood, said they hope to keep this going longer term, adding: “If we have to reduce the capacity of the studio and the amount of mats, it’s going to be really hard for us to cover our costs. I think we will carry on live-streaming and offer in studio safe, socially-distanced spaces.”
Her studio is among many businesses in the leisure sector that have been affected by coronavirus.
Romford’s Brookside Theatre has been shut since the pandemic began and the Recorder has already reported on its appeal for donations to ward off the threat of permanent closure.
Artistic director Jai Sepple said: “While we are sad that we have had to close and incredibly worried about the future of the theatre, we are making the most of the time.”
The theatre has streamed past productions and has now announced Havering’s Got Talent, in which it will broadcast 10 acts on alternate Wednesdays from July 8.
The top two as voted for by the public will perform in a live final at the theatre, planned for early next year. For more and to apply, visit brooksidetheatre.com.
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