Businesses in Cornwall have described how they have seen a drop in sales as a result of the G7 Summit – but hope exposure of their town will bring future prosperity.
Shops in the town of St Ives, around 1.3 miles from Carbis Bay where the conference is being held, said their sales are down up to 75% as a result of St Ives train station being closed and bus routes being diverted.
St Ives is the closest that members of the public can get to Carbis Bay this week due to severe security measures in place surrounding the summit.
Iron fences have been installed around the bay and police forces across the UK have been called in to patrol the event. A total of 6,500 officers have been deployed.
But business owners said they remain upbeat about the conference and hope it means a brighter future for their town.
Matt Williams, 51, who owns Sands shop in St Ives, said he had seen a 75% drop in sales compared to last month as a result of the road closures for the G7.
“There’s obviously been a drop in sales because the visitors have been disrupted in what they’re doing, but I’m all in favour of the G7 as it goes and if it means things are difficult for a few days, it is what it is,” he told the PA news agency.
“Hopefully it will put St Ives on the map going forward. We have been busy leading up to it but it’s been dying off over the last few days.”
Colin Noall, 51, who owns Noall’s Emporium, said business for him was down “considerably” in recent days.
“We have been affected…there’s a lot of negativity towards the G7 but there’s also a lot of positivity towards it and hopefully it will bring good things to Cornwall. Personally I can’t see it but it’s due process, they’ve got to hold it somewhere,” he told PA.
Some shops nearby had also closed early or temporarily due to the summit – they included a burger delivery company, a pet shop and a bakery.
Jason Sims, 27, manager of J’s Sweets, said the shop had also suffered around a 25% loss in sales compared to a month ago.
“Although it’s having a negative impact on business now, we hope the long-term effect will be good. This area’s in the limelight on the news all round the world, so hopefully that’s going to bring tourism,” he told PA.
“There’s been signs up for months all around Cornwall saying avoid this area from June 5, so that’s had a negative impact on businesses in the area. We can only hope the return is a positive boom for the economy and I hope our Prime Minister follows through on the things he’s promised for Cornwall.”
Clinton Matthews, 25, owner of J’s Sweets, added: “The restaurants are really busy though. Most of us have never seen anything like this – we’ve never seen so many police, so many helicopters and it’s put Cornwall more on the map.”