Lucy Wanta, Jessica Matthews, Louise Brennan, Wendy Knight and Amelia Malec take time out ahead of a busy morning at Fabiani
Longford is back and very much in business.
It's a message which could be seen from one end of Longford town to the other this afternoon as non-essential retail returned with gusto for the first time in over four months.
Traffic moved at arguably its most leisurely pace since Christmas when shops were told to close their doors on New Year's Eve as the country went into a third nationwide lockdown in a bid to halt the spread of Covid-19.
Close to five and a half months on, the atmosphere on the streets of the county town was an altogether different one as businesses raised the shutters on months of enforced closure and loss of revenue.
For Louise Brennan of award winning boutique, Fabiani, the long awaited return of retail to Longford town was one which could not come soon enough
"It's great to be back," she smiled while casting a gaze out onto a congested main street.
The well respected entrepreneur, in calling on Longford's consumer public to shop local, said despite the challenges posed by lockdown, the past four months had allowed the business to strengthen other parts of its makeup.
"We really hope people will shop local and stay in your local town," she said.
"It's been a very hard few months, but we kept our website going and I suppose this lockdown has been easier than the first in that we were more prepared in terms of having our stock up on our website and we developed it also.
"We had returning customers from the last couple of lockdowns as well online and while it has been really hard, we are very positive about the future."
They were sentiments which were duly endorsed by Judy Harney, of Harney's Jewellers.
"We have already had a few people come in and say it's nice to see us open again and hopefully it stays that way and we don't take a step back again," she said.
Across the street, footfall was in rich supply at Áine's Boutique.
"Flat out," was the buoyant evaluation given to the Leader earlier today from it's owner, Aine Farrell when questioned over how busy the store had been since 9am.
"I am always promoting Longford in my videos but we also need more people to come in to shop here and for new businesses to set up.
"Business is back and it's better than ever."
An uplifting assessment in one sense, it's one Longford's retail and consumer public hope will be here to stay.
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