INDEPENDENT businesses in Malvern have thanked their customers for helping during the coronavirus pandemic.

The crisis has seen “non-essential” shops forced to close and re-open under drastically different trading conditions, with many having to move online or operate as click and collect businesses.

Tom Floyd, owner of Abbey Road Coffee, said he worked 63 days straight between May and early July.

The cafe has been running as takeaway only after a brief period with limited tables and chairs.

Mr Floyd said: “It works just as well” but admitted he was worried about the winter months despite plans to open a new shop next year in Cowleigh Road.

Philippa Thomas from The Book Co-operative, said: "We’ve been able to supply books through one means or another throughout the entirety of COVID-19.

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"We’ve taken email orders, phone orders and we’ve done home deliveries directly from our suppliers.

"The pandemic has affected trade massively. We’ve done quite well in so far as we’ve survived and we’ve had a lot of support.

"We are making a profit but it’s not what it would have been had the pandemic have not happened by a long stretch.

"But it’s been really positive our loyal customers have flocked back to us and put lots of orders in which has been great."

Organic shop owner Mike Grattis said: “The beginning of lockdown was absolutely insane, our home delivery service went absolutely through the roof, so we were pretty much working 24/7.

"We’ve had great feedback and really nice compliments from people thanking us for what we are doing and that spurs you on to do more and just keep going.

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"I think also, when you get situations like that it’s just head down and crack on, you know it will end at some point.

"We’ve just carried on as we knew this second lockdown would be coming at some point.

"We basically carried on doing what we were doing before which is making sure we have plenty of stock, sending it out slowly and steadily."

Dependant on how suppliers operate, changes in the business chain have caused The Book Cooperative and Abbey Road Coffee to be more flexible in their business approach.

Mrs Thomas added: "It changes every month at the moment, it’s just evolved and evolved and evolved again – we’ve just had to pivot. There has been a lot to adjust to.

"We have now signed up to which is an organisation which started in America to pull together independent bookshops and provide an alternative online service to Amazon.

"They set up in the U.K amazingly quickly and we joined and we get a nice set of terms from them for people who don’t live locally who want to support us from further afield."