A BUSINESS owner has described the prospect of a new lockdown as “terrifying” after it was announced just three days after she opened her doors for the first time.

Owner Alexa Slater had only recently opened clothing store Chapter 38 on Hill Street when Boris Johnson announced England would be returning to a second lockdown from today.

The announcement sent shockwaves through the retail world, with many in the sector hoping the run-up to Christmas would help offset the economic damage done by the first lockdown in March.

For Alexa, it’s come at the worst possible time.

She said: “It’s been a bit of a shock. I wasn’t really expecting a full lockdown, I would’ve thought it would have happened in October.

“To shut retail down at this time of year, when everybody makes money - it’s quite emotional.

“We’ve invested a lot of money in the business, a lot of the stock is seasonal and we have a lot of products on order.

“A lot of businesses don’t make money in the first couple of years anyway.

“I think because a lot of people aren’t going to the MetroCentre or Newcastle, they’ve been coming to smaller places like here. People do use the shops, people are feeling safe to shop in Northumberland and these small places.

“This is the kind of environment people want to shop in.

“I don’t know the stats, but you would have thought a lot of the cases would be coming from bars and restaurants.”

Despite her disappointment, villagers made the effort to support Alexa in the few days she was able to open.

She also increased her opening hours in a bid to make more sales.

She added: “It’s a really nice community. People have been really supportive, they’re trying to come in and buy a couple of little bits.

“Even the local shopkeepers have come in and introduced themselves. Visit Corbridge also did a spread on the shop.

“We’ve had such a good start - it’s such a blow.”