How Has COVID-19 Affected Louth Businesses?

Louth is the home to approximately 17,000 residents and is now the largest market town in East Lindsey District Council. Louth brings in many visitors due to its assortment of markets held within the town centre. A regular weekly market is held as well as monthly farmers markets and Christmas and Victorian Sunday market which are commonly a colossal hit with residents, businesses and visitors. 

Disastrously, the impact of COVID-19 has damaged countless businesses globally, hitting smaller companies worse than larger ones. A large number of the businesses in Louth are SME’s and family-run. The government’s new tier system puts Louth in tier 3 and on the highest COVID alert, meaning a lot of these businesses have had to close their doors once again. 

Louth town was once thriving and full of life, market days especially captivating consumers both residents of Louth or from surrounding areas.

If the market were to no longer exist an approximate of 20% of Louths businesses could fail

Christmas Market 

Louth Christmas market provides stalls for people young and old to enjoy; however, this iconic event was cancelled six months in advance due to the global outbreak, as the beloved event brought in people from all over Lincolnshire and social distancing and safety measures could not be guaranteed. Over 80 paying stallholders are unfortunately out of pocket at one of their busiest times of the year.

The market did provide not only stalls but also entertainment such as:

  • Live music 
  • Food and drink 
  • Arts and crafts 
  • Meeting and greeting Santa Clause

However, not all hope is lost. Many of the independent makers and small business owners you can find at Louth Christmas Market have moved their stalls online. Take a look at your favourites on Twitter and Facebook where you may still be able to purchase some Christmas goodies from them.

Restrictions on businesses

As we are in an area experiencing an increasing number of infections, stricter regulations have been put in place to reduce the number of cases and keep everybody safe. 

For example, in tier 3:

  • Hospitality settings such as restaurants, pubs, cafes must close and are encouraged to continue formulating money by offering a take-away service or click and collect. 
  • Indoor entertainment centres must close, including cinemas, theatres, casinos and bingo halls. 
  • Indoor attractions must close, including zoos, theme parks and fairgrounds. 
  • Weddings and funerals are allowed; however, this is with a limited amount of people attending. 

These are just a select few restrictions causing businesses to make massive changes to how they operate, in some cases preventing them from operating altogether. 

Due to Louth being a market town and relying heavily on people travelling from the surrounding areas to visit our popular attractions, being unable to do so has significantly reduced the revenue generated by businesses. On account of this, smaller companies are struggling to not only make a profit but more so breakeven. If you’re struggling and need assistance with your accounts or understanding the government help available, contact me today.

A Brief History Of Louth

If you are not acquainted nor familiar with Louth, this blog post will give you an insight into the town and its history. Louth is a large market as well as an industrial town situated in East Lindsey, Lincolnshire. It is located very rurally in the East of Lincolnshire and contains attractions such as St James’ Church, Hubbard’s Hills, the market, many independent retailers, as well as the last remaining cattle market in Lincolnshire.

Louth started off as a Saxon village. Its name originated from the Saxon word meaning ‘loud’ due to the loud gushing of the river. A monastery was built in Louth in the late 7th century. In the 9th century, the Danes took over Lincolnshire and subsequently destroyed Louth’s monastery. However, they gave Louth many of its street names.

In the 10th and 11th centuries, Louth became a small market town. Peasants from surrounding villages would use the market to buy and sell goods. Eventually, in the Middle Ages Louth had a population of around 1,500.

A Cistercian Abbey was built in 1139 at Louth Park. The parish church of St James was also an integral part of life for the people who lived there.

Henry VIII closed down Louth’s Abbey in 1536. The King sent a man to list valuables in the parish church which outraged the people of Louth. The man agreed to go and find out what the King intended to do with the valuables before proceeding.

This event sparked anger and men from Louth started a rebellion, marching towards Lincoln but were blocked by royal troops. As a result, the uprising broke down, and ringleaders were executed.

Louth prospered in the 16th and 17th centuries and its population grew, despite plague outbreaks. One outbreak in particular killed 700 people in Louth in 1631, which was a large chunk of the overall population.

A school was built in Louth in the 13th century, but the Grammar School was not established until 1551. The 18th century saw Louth grow even more and develop a carpet-making industry. A canal was eventually opened in 1770 to make trade easier of goods.

1801 saw a population of 4,250. This doubled 50 years later. 1825 saw a parliament act that cleaned the streets and a year later, the streets were gaslit, despite many Louth residents living in slums.

A dispensary was formed in 1803 for poor people to get free medicine and in 1873 Louth’s hospital was built. 1848 saw the railway reaching Louth which improved business from the canal method previously.

In the 1920s and 30s, the first council houses were established, and electricity lit up the town.

A War Memorial was established in 1922 in memory of those who fell in WW1. In WW2 15 people in Louth died from German bombings.

The population continued to grow in Louth from the 1920s onwards with around 17,000 people inhabiting the town now.

Please read my blog about some of the top reasons to want to live and work in Louth.

Top Reasons to Live And Work in Louth

Louth is a stunning town situated in the East of Lincolnshire. Here are the top reasons why you should live and work here.

The Location 

Louth’s stunning location is second to none. It is situated in the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds. The Lincolnshire Wolds is renowned for being an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Its calming hills and deep valleys are striking against the coastal landscape of marshes and dunes.

Being East Lincolnshire, it is very near the coast so perfect for those summer beach days or winter walks next to the sea. The Wolds is sparsely populated, so pollution is at a minimum. Therefore, expect to see the sky and stars at night in all their glory! 

Without a doubt, Louth is the perfect location to work from home!

Louth Market

Louth is a traditional town and with that comes a quaint market which trades on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Although with the pandemic, these days might vary or be cancelled so best to do your research if you wish to venture to the Louth Market. Once it is up and running, you can see what the market has to offer, from delicious food to pretty crafts; the market has it all!

The Beautiful Parks

There are some beautiful parks to visit, walk-in, have picnics in and socially distance in too! These are Hubbard’s Hills and West Gate Fields. Hubbard’s Hill was established in the early 1900s. It is beautiful in the summer where children can paddle in the river and families are seen catching crawfish with nets.

Westgate Fields has lawns surrounded by lime trees, oaks and ashes and has a beautiful view of St James’ Church poking over the tops of the trees. There are four leaf sculptures to visit, these are carved from oak and are owned by Louth Art Trail.

The Attractions (when they open!)

The attractions are limitless in Louth! There is much to see and do in this lovely town. All of which to be frequented when the lockdown is lifted once again! Louth has its own Golf Club, taking advantage of the hilly terrain and acres of grass.

Louth Museum opened in 1910 and was modernised in the early 2000s by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s money. It contains the largest collection of Victorian woodcarver Thomas Wallis paraphernalia in the country as well as other historical artefacts.

St James’ Church is a sight for sore eyes and worth a visit for its history and photogenic-nature. It was a gathering point for the Lincolnshire Rising in 1536. This was organised by Catholics to protest the Monasteries dissolution. There is a cafe and souvenir shop too.

When theatres re-open, Louth Riverhead Theatre is THE place to visit! It is owned and run by a small number of volunteers. There are touring productions, musicians, tribute bands, musicals, poetry recitals, evenings with television personalities and comedians who perform there.

Lincolnshire Wolds Railway is another great attraction of Louth. It runs for 1.5 miles between two stations, Ludborough and North Thoresby.

Playhouse Cinema is the only cinema for 15 miles and contains three screens. It was a former chapel and became a movie theatre in the 1920s. It shows the latest releases, classic films, independent ones as well as live recordings from the Royal Ballet and Royal Shakespeare Company.

If you need any help with the accounting of your business in Louth, don’t hesitate to get in contact with me.