The Gazette’s Love Local Business campaign is aiming to support local businesses as they recover from lockdown.

Even traders who have been in the town for 25 years, such as Lee Baines, face an unprecedented situation.

He started Lee’s Mend A Shoe in Bradley Avenue, Winterbourne, in 1994 before moving to Thornbury the following year.

Originally Lee rented a corner of Hawkins hardware store but moved to his own shop next door 14 years ago.

The seven weeks it was closed at the start of lockdown is far the longest Thornbury has gone without the shop since then.

Lee spent the time making his shop safe for customers. He has installed protective screens and set up a sanitising station outside.

However, while he has been able to cut keys and replace watch batteries for NHS workers, business has been quiet.

Lee normally runs the shop with his wife, Jane, but she has been placed on furlough leave as there is not enough work for them both.

Lee believes the closure of Thornbury High Street has exacerbated the situation and says he has experienced a 50 per cent fall in trade.

“It’s not a good idea. It will kill the town if this carries on,” he said.

“Im hoping it’s going to pick up.

“We have just got to stick at it.

“I will carry on with business and look forward to welcoming everyone back soon.

“I am going to carry on as long as I can and keep the business going,” he said.

Lee’s Mend A Shoe is open 9am-4pm, Monday to Saturday.

lThe Gazette’s Love Local Business campaign encourages readers to support traders to help them recover from lockdown.

Any business wanting to be featured in our campaign should get in touch on 01453 769419 or email sales director