Published: January 10, 2009
Not all Burnham-On-Sea businesses are feeling the financial pinch

Not all businesses in Burnham-on-Sea are feeling the financial pinch - and some seem to be actually benefiting from the countrywide recession.

Charity shops in Burnham are among the traders that are doing well in the downturn.

Anne Davies, Assistant Manager at Burnham's Sue Ryder shop in the High Street, told "Our sales are up 15 per cent on the same period last year."

"Some of our customers have been ignoring the sales and coming straight to us for bargains, particularly for clothing. We've been doing very well. It's even been busy during the normal lull after Christmas."

Jeff and Jackie Welsh, pictured right, who run JJ Welsh's restaurant in the High Street, also say trade has been brisk.

While two nearby cafes, French's and Regency Joes, have disappeared during the last few months, they believe the recession may in fact be helping trade.

"We've been very busy and even had to turn some people away at peak times. People do still want to eat out despite the recession, and they want traditional, quality 'comfort food' that's affordable and cheers them up."

Home improvement shops are also holding their own, according to Home Hardware's Phil Hemming, pictured below.

"Our sales are not down from last year - they're stable, thanks in part to customers supporting local businesses like us more during the recession," he told

"We've seen many people coming into town specifically to support businesses in the town centre."

John Edwards, owner of Material Needs, says the craft and haberdashery shop has been holding its own. "It could be that people are making and repairing their clothes more than buying new ones," he told

Shops selling cheaper items are also doing well, with budget supermarket Lidl in Oxford Street being busier than normal. And Julie Simmons, who runs the Pound Store in Burnham plus AJ's Cash and Carry in Highbridge, says business has "held steady" in recent months compared to previous years, with the cash and carry doing slightly better than last year.


Burnham-On-Sea shopping guide


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