March 2020 is a month few will forget. Just as businesses across southern Spain were preparing for spring, as tourism companies were all set for the peak season, boutiques were bringing out their summer collections and restaurants were looking forward to full terraces on warm evenings, the shutters came down.
On 14 March Spain declared a state of alarm and strict lockdown restrictions came in force to curb the spread of coronavirus. Unless your business was deemed essential, or a service that could be provided from a distance, Covid-19 sent income plummeting, in many cases to zero.
Businesses opted for the government's scheme to furlough their staff and the local economy went into hibernation as tourists rushed home and residents followed instructions to stay at home.
Wheels back in motion
Three months have passed, lockdown easing is advancing, and local businesses are now able to set their wheels in motion once again. Some will have more difficulty than others, but as businesses come out of hibernation, so do the customers.
Every day we are able to enjoy simple pleasures for the first time since lockdown: going for a drink in a bar, or a meal in the local restaurant; shopping for clothes for the summer; visiting the hairdresser and beautician; getting the plumber or builder in to do those jobs you've been meaning to do for months; chatting to the butcher; giving the car a service; or buying new furniture for that terrace you spent so much time on during weeks of confinement.
SUR in English was fortunate enough to be able to carry on doing business and provinding the essential service of informing readers of local and national news throughout the coronavirus crisis.