After many of Stratford's shops were closed during alert levels 3 and 4, businesses are happy to open again in alert level 2.

Cottage Lane co-owner Janette Jeffares says she is excited to open again. The shop was completely closed during alert level 4 and ran a click-and-collect service in level 3.

Cottage Lane shop assistant Brenda Paterson.
Cottage Lane shop assistant Brenda Paterson.

She says while they were able to claim the Government wage subsidy, she missed being able to interact with customers.

"I'm excited to be able to talk to everyone again."


Janette says customers have given positive feedback about the shop re-opening.

"We've had lots of customers tell us they are happy we're open again."

The shop has protocols in place to keep staff and the community safe.

"We have hand sanitiser at the door, a register customers have to fill in for contact tracing, we're wiping down the Eftpos terminal after each transaction and are using the 2m distancing rule.

"Most people have been quite good at observing and following the rules."

Janette says it's important people shop local as the town recovers from the impact of Covid-19.

"I urge people to shop local and keep our town afloat."

The click-and-collect service was also offered by Willo in Stratford while the doors to the shop were closed in levels 3 and 4, says shop assistant Julie Landers.

Willo shop assistant Julie Landers.
Willo shop assistant Julie Landers.

"It went really well, we had lots of interest from our customers. I'm excited that we are open again, it's good to be back."

She says there has been a steady flow of customers.

"I received lots of feedback about how they were happy we were open again."

The shop received the Government wage subsidy, reflecting the drop in trade during the alert levels, says Julie.

WIth doors now back open for customers, contact tracing, wiping down surfaces, and maintaining social distance in the store are part of the new system.

"People have been really respectful of the rules. It's great to see locals supporting locals," says Julie.

Raymond and Pam Perera have owned and operated Perera's Paper Power in Stratford for 30 years.

Perera's Paper Power shop owners Raymond and Pam Perera.
Perera's Paper Power shop owners Raymond and Pam Perera.

During levels 3 and 4 the shop was closed, says Raymond, so he is happy to be serving customers again.

"We've had lots of customers come in and say they've been missing their local shops. I'm excited to be back open and seeing our customers again."

The shop has a register for contact tracing, is using the 2m distancing rule, and the owners are wearing gloves while serving customers.

"People have been really good at following the rules," Pam says.

Being able to claim the Government wage subsidy while the shop was closed helped, says Raymond.