Cornwall Chamber CEO Kim Conchie

One week on from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly being categorised as a Tier 1 region, Chamber CEO Kim Conchie has been reflecting on what it has meant for the local business community.

Along with the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are the only regions in England not to be in either of the more restrictive Tiers 2 and 3.

And over the past week, the Duchy has come back to life with businesses opening their doors again just in time for the Christmas rush.

Conchie said: “The excitement has been palpable here in Cornwall as locals have enjoyed a mulled wine after a walk, Christmas meals out with friends, or popped into a small independent shop to buy their Christmas presents.”

After a bumper summer, Cornwall’s hospitality and tourism sectors still need to take every opportunity possible in order to begin recovering from the months either side of the summer season when they weren’t allowed to trade.

Over the past month, the chamber has ramped up its #choosecornish campaign to encourage people to source their Christmas presents and supplies locally. It has also encouraged people to go for that Christmas drink or socially distanced meal, now that they are able to.

Conchie added: “Businesses in Cornwall are feeling energised and extremely humbled to have been given this opportunity in the run up to Christmas that so many businesses throughout the UK haven’t.

“The general consensus from our members is that they are recruiting, rather than laying off. The green shoots of recovery are beginning to be seen.”

He added, however, thar a careful balance must now be struck between Cornwall enjoying its Tier 1 status and risking it being changed.

“We are feeling very fortunate but there is definitely an undertone of caution to our excitement here in Cornwall,” he said.

“The last thing we want to do is have our tier status changed. We must all be careful and give the Duchy the very best chance of getting through this pandemic in good shape.”