Many local businesses have struggled during the Covid-19 pandemic. After overcoming the first lockdown they are now trying to climb a second hurdle with how they will return in December, after Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
One of these businesses is Dream Academy, a local performing arts school who are based in 11 locations across Kent. Their mission is: “To create a safe, fun and inclusive environment for children to discover their inner superstar”. However, it is difficult to achieve this when the academy has been forced to close due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Before the pandemic Dream Academy had around 300 students and after speaking to a Shanel Ingram- Spice, who is a director within the company, we can see this number has significantly dropped.
“Sadly, we did lose around 50% of our students during the first lockdown. This second lockdown has once again seen us lose quite a few students and if it continues for longer than the planned month it is highly likely we will end up in a worse position than we were in after the first,” she said.
It is not just the students within this company who have suffered, Shanel spoke about losing staff members also. Some have been self-employed for under 18 months, so sadly did not qualify for the grant scheme set up by the government. They were forced to seek jobs elsewhere, as they were financially unable to cope.
Companies like this are left feeling let down by the government. They have put in extensive research into safety measures and risk assessments, but Dream Academy say the situation is “absurd”. They are wondering how schools with hundreds of students are allowed to remain open but extra-curricular activities, like Dream Academy have been forced to close.
At the moment there is not much more that can be done, other than waiting to see what is said by the Government about whether these companies can reopen in December and attempt to rebuild their businesses once again.
If you are interested in some of the classes that Dream Academy run, click on the picture below to be taken to their website.