TRADERS at Farnworth Indoor Market fear they will struggle to survive after lockdown, as many people will have ‘no money to spend’.

Despite receiving some government support during the pandemic, business owners at the market on King Street are concerned that once restrictions are lifted and support stops, that a lack of footfall will harm their profits.

Diane Davies, 44, owns Caitlin Louise Candles, a shop selling bath salts, bath bombs and scented candles.

She tried to claim money from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) - but only received £44.

Diane said: “It was based on average net profits, but I put all my money back into my business which is why I received so little.

“I won’t be bothering to apply for the grants again because you also get taxed on them.”

With many business likely to continue allowing people to work from home at least some of the time, she believes the high streets will never return to the same levels of footfall as there were prior to lockdown.

Diane added: “When people work from home, they’re using their kettle instead of buying a coffee, and making their lunch instead of going to a bakery.

“A lot of businesses will really, really struggle.”

John Cotter, 47, owns computer refurbishing shop JP Micros, which has only been able to open for two months out of the last year.

He said: “We’re still having to pay rent but I’ve had to stop trading completely.

“I’ve not been able to get click and collect on the go either, because no one showed any interest.

“I don’t think the footfall will come back, because people have become so used to online shopping on Amazon and Ebay during lockdown.

“They will always be able to beat us on price.”

Phil Payne, who runs a phone repair and accessory shop, Phone Doctor, has been trading at the indoor market for 20 years.

He has really struggled during lockdown, both with profits and with the lack of interaction from customers.

He said: “It’s going to be a waiting game.

“I hope that the customers come back - but I just don’t see it happening.