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Impact of Covid-19 could be crippling to businesses, says events boss from Little Cornard

The impact of a lack of trade and enforced closures due to the virus have yet to be calculated, but one local business leader says they could be devastating.

Justine Paul (pictured), who runs Suffolk Market Events, which manages the Taste of Sudbury food and drink festival, said she has had a big market cancelled this weekend – but Hadleigh and Lavenham farmers’ markets are still going ahead.

“I have to say that the impact this is going to have on small businesses could be absolutely crippling. It’s not a good picture,” she said.

“We have not made a decision about postponing the Taste of Sudbury yet; it’s the second weekend in June, so it’s too early to say.”

She said local butchers, such as Lavenham Butchers, Leaders Butchers in Boxford and Greenacres pork butchers were all offering to make deliveries to customers.

Lavenham Butcher said that anyone worried about going out could call the shop for supplies, saying staff were happy to help villagers by popping into the Co-op and chemist next door.

Meanwhile, a Sudbury businessman believes he contracted coronavirus after a team-building trip to Austria two weeks ago.

Mark Johnson-Wood, 56, managing director of Estate Strategy Group in Friars Street, became unwell after returning from the ski-ing trip.

“On the way back home, I began feeling unwell with chills and a temperature,” he said. “I got very congested and, at one point, thought I might need to call an ambulance. It’s taken a week to get over.”

Mr Johnson-Wood, who is a marathon runner, added: “My business colleague also got it and we think we caught it on the way out to Austria, because it took five days to come out.”

The owner of another business, Chris Dixon from Sudbury iPhone Repair, said he was expecting to be busier than usual.

His mobile repair firm collects and repairs faulty phones and iPads from customers’ homes.

He said: “As people are at home, I can easily get to them and they don’t even have to open the front door because they can hand me the device through their letterbox.

“Lots of older people have the latest smart phones and devices and will probably be using them more to keep in touch with family members,” he added.

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