(Picture by the very talented Luana Laubscher)
As the sun begins to set on the 2022/2023 holiday season and annual visitors start making their way back to the bigger centres, it is wonderful to get positive feedback from local businesses that it has indeed been a much-needed bumper season.
Reports received by The EDGE show that, with only a few exceptions, business boomed to new heights in December and early January, with so many folk arriving to spend their (hopefully happy) holidays in Sedgefield.
The Sedgefield Spar’s management responded to our ‘Successful Season?’ enquiry with the report of a hefty turnover increase of about 20%.
All the local restaurants we managed to speak to also reported really good numbers of ‘bums in seats’ – some calling this season their best yet.
One popular point of call for most visitors – and indeed a good measuring stick for numbers – is Sedgefield’s trio of markets, all of which came back to us with very positive comments.
Scarab Market’s co-owner Jean Wright was very happy to report that most of her crafters had experienced a fabulous season. Indeed one of her Scarab Village tenants said it was the best he had had in 15 years of trading. “And it was great to see all the new faces visiting us, too,” Jean enthused.
Cliff Elion, the owner of Mosaic Market, reflected that it was the first season showing growth like pre-pandemic times. “It’s as if the COVID years have been erased from our trajectory,” he said, “The crowds were very well behaved too – it really was a great season from a hospitality point of view.” His assistant Elaine Hannah reported that most traders had their best days ever over the season.
The Wild Oats team says that their Farmers’ Market was absolutely bustling, with five to six thousand visitors each Saturday. “Both local and from abroad – they braved the inclement weather knowing that the market stallholders, local farmers and producers make sure that the market stays open, come rain or shine!” said Charlene Blacker.
So whilst some locals will understandably be happy to have their home town return to normal, a huge vote of thanks must go to our visitors – simply for keeping our economy running!