Covid-19 restrictions have impacted nearly every business sector in the country but none more so than the entertainment and hospitality industry and even more so small business owners.
For one of ATTAIN’s clients, Anne Hurcombe, owner of Wigan Pier Promotions, this was exactly the case. Here she shares her story of life as a small business owner in the entertainment industry during the pandemic, how she has adapted, and how ATTAIN has not only supported her pre covid but has also been able to help her make a passion project come to life during lockdown.
Anne has led life to its fullest working in entertainment for 26 years including as a professional singer travelling the world.
She decided she needed a change and after studying business she wanted to focus on running her own company and bought Wigan Pier Promotions (WPP) from her old agent.
Anne said: “When I first took over WPP they mainly worked with holiday parks, pubs and social clubs and now I have added to that, providing entertainment on ferries, in stadiums, and working with local councils, such as Bolton and Wigan and Leigh on several events. I have provided entertainment for outside events like Iron Man, food and drink festivals, and designed and built a grotto for a Winter Wonderland. I help to plan the events and provide entertainment such as tribute bands, performers, and even donkeys and camels.”
Like many, Anne was hit hard by the pandemic and lockdown restrictions.
She said: “The entertainment industry came to a grinding halt after the first lockdown. All work just literally dried up. In between the first and the second lockdown there was a trickle of work that came through but nothing much.
“Usually, our busiest months are during the months of November and December each year, and of course last year there was no work in these months.
“Although I tried to remain positive, I did miss my usual routine of going to the gym, and my running group, and also the interaction you have with people you work with, so I decided to start doing deliveries for a local café and then I worked for a school uniform shop.
“When this came to an end, I started a new business – The Gift Getter – based on my passion for buying presents for people. With the help of ATTAIN who was responsible for the design and implementation of the landing page on the website, I was able to launch a gift buying service for people who perhaps haven’t got the time or inclination to do it themselves.
ATTAIN also helped our family business, G & A Grabhire, which my husband and I launched during lockdown, by supporting with the hosting of a landing page for his website. Plus, they helped with the artwork for the online entertainment we did at WPP and helped to promote the zoom events we ran.
“My latest venture is working at the covid testing centre in Chorley. On day one, I started as a general operative and by the start of the next I had been made site manager – but that’s another story!”
Throughout lockdown Anne has been part of an all-female networking group FubHub lead by our commercial manager Jackie Salt, all of whom she says have been a massive support over the last 12 months.
She added: “These ladies have really helped me get through this. Not only have we have had monthly Zoom meetings throughout the pandemic, but we are also constantly checking in on each other, offering support where it’s needed. Soon we plan to get back to face-to-face meetings again which I can’t wait for.
“The pandemic has also given me time to think, and I am excited for the next steps for WPP. I can’t wait to get back to working in entertainment and events again, submitting tenders to work with other councils, and staging outdoor events in town centres all over the UK.”
If you think your business could do with a boost with simple marketing tools such as a new landing page, get in touch with our creative and technical teams here.