A FAMILY-run card shop in Droitwich has been threatened with permanent closure after staying open during this month’s lockdown.
Staff at Grace Cards & Books and local police were seen getting into a heated argument in a video posted to social media.
The footage shows two police officers telling staff they risk having their licence taken away for not adhering to government guidelines.
But one staff member quips back saying there’s no proof they are causing harm to anyone by staying open.
She said: “You’re not even giving us time to sort out what our rights are here.
“This is a business of 30 years and we don’t feel the law is right in this respect.”
The St Andrew’s Street card shop is selling food and drink in a bid to stay open.
Thanks Mike. Here it is. Hope it's uploaded ok. pic.twitter.com/a8YFsdffiq
— David Finnimore (@david_finnimore) November 21, 2020
Chief Superintendent Paul Moxley of West Mercia Police said: “We remain hugely sympathetic to the difficult times business owners, particularly small and independent businesses, are having to endure.
“None of my officers, and I’m sure no one at Wychavon District Council, joined our chosen professions anticipating we would have to enforce government rules such as this.
“However it is the role of both our organisations to ensure that the current legislation is complied with to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
“This shop had already been advised by the council to not be open within the current restrictions and was issued with a Prohibition Notice.
“Clearly, at the time of the visit, that notice was being breached.”
A spokesperson for Wychavon District Council said: “Grace Card & Books is registered as a card and gift shop which is one of the businesses types having to close by law.
“They were advised of this the day before the notice was issued and told they could continue to trade by delivery or click and collect.
“They chose to remain open and so a prohibition notice was issued on Thursday, November 19.”
The council added that it distributed more than £32million to businesses during the first lockdown and has paid over £600,000 to businesses forced to close this month.
“We are also making £1.3million available to support businesses affected by the restrictions but do not qualify for the main support scheme.
“Both grants are available for businesses to apply for from our website and we would urge Grace Card & Books to do so if they haven’t already.”