AN INDIAN summer will be the last chance for Southend traders to “save the year” after the impact of Covid-19, they claim.

This week temperatures are set to climb above 30 degrees - which business bosses say is a well-needed boost for those who rely on a heatwave to draw in visitors from both far and wide.

And traders say this week’s hot spell, which could potentially also carry into next, could be a “blessing” as they adjust to the devastating announcement that this year’s Southend fireworks will not go ahead for the first time in 24 years.

Southend Standard:

Owner - Penny Lowen, of the Gleneagles Guesthouse

Joan Tiney, chairman of Southend Seafront Traders’ Association and owner of The Borough Hotel, Marine Parade, says businesses including her own will be keeping their fingers crossed for one last rush of business before the winter.

She explained: “During lockdown the weather was quite kind to us, so it will be nice to be able to enjoy it while we’re not stuck indoors.

“Even in the winter when the sun is out it brings more trade to the area, so hopefully this should do some good.

“Anything will be a bonus and today is supposed to be one of the hottest - the longer this spell goes on the better. Every little helps.

“People aren’t really taking holidays, so having staycations should help too. We definitely have people from London who usually come down, but I hope people from all over will make the most of what we have to offer.

“That being said, it won’t make up for the loss of our fireworks this year. They do really help us so it’s a shame they’ve been cancelled.”

Penny Lowen, co-owner of The Gleneagles Guesthouse on Clifftown Parade, said: “I do hope the Indian summer will give us a bit of a boost. Now the kids are going back to school and staff are going back to work, business is starting to drop off a bit.

“It’s unpredictable how it will be, but I think people do plan their days around how the weather is predicted and it was busy in the last heatwave we had.

“The numbers weren’t what they were last year for sure, so we do rely on this kind of weather. It’s always good for us and helps prepare for the winter.”

Paul Thompson, owner of Pebbles One cafe on Marine Parade, added: “It was quite busy yesterday, I think this hot weather has been a bit of a blessing really.

“I’m sure many will want to enjoy one last bit of sea breeze and it’s nice to have a little extra boost after lockdown. Although the decision to cancel the fireworks this year will definitely be a blow on the seafront economy we have here - they usually bring so many visitors every year.

“We need to make all the money

we can now to get us through the winter.”