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‘I had a nice lifestyle, no debt. Now I owe £35k’: Shop owners desperate for post-pandemic help in the budget

‘I had a nice lifestyle, no debt. Now I owe £35k’: Shop owners desperate for post-pandemic help in the budget

Business
Guildford High Street, with its pretty cobbled streets, chi chi shops and historical architecture, is the perfect example of an affluent commuter suburb.But even this pleasant corner of Surrey hasn't been immune from the economic shock of the pandemic. The Hair and Beauty Bar has been a staple on the High Street for 21 years, but after being forced to close for the third time in 12 months, owner Gemma Raif is fearful of the future.Live COVID updates from the UK and around the world "The past year's been very difficult," she said. "I had a successful business that gave me a nice lifestyle, with no debt. Now I owe at least £35,000 in rent, which is not a nice place to be when you're not used to being in debt. If the landlords decide to pursue me, it could be my house that could go." ...