As lockdown begins to ease businesses are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel after the toughest period most will ever have endured.
Restaurants and other businesses in Dundee were already faced with trying economic circumstances before lockdown.
However, one local cafe owner has refused to let her optimism for the future be dimmed by the last few months.
Heather Sharp, who owns Coffee and Co in Reform Street, says she is hopeful that trade can pick up pretty quickly.
Heather said: “There is definite cause for optimism and I’m fairly certain that it won’t be too long before we start to see the start of recovery in the city centre.
“It is currently like a ghost town, but with the easing of lockdown there have been signs that life could return to some kind of normal fairly soon.”
Heather closed her cafe at the beginning of lockdown and remained closed for four weeks.
She was forced to furlough 10 of her staff along with the baker she uses for the cakes and pastries that are the cafe’s speciality.
But after a month of being closed, Heather decided to get back to work and has been running a takeaway service ever since.
She said: “I get up at 4am to do the baking for the day and then open the cafe and work for a good part of the day.”
“I felt this was the only way I could hope to have a business at the end of lockdown and be able to provide a job for all of my staff.
“I would say I’m running at around 40% of normal businesses just now but it’s better than being closed and it is keeping us afloat.”
And Heather said she was confident firms would adapt and find a way to start bringing in customers and making money again.
She said: “I have also spoken with other business owners in the area and they too are optimistic about starting to get the city centre open for business again.
“Dundee people are resilient and everyone wants things to return to the way they were before so there’s no reason why this can’t happen.”
Meanwhile, Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce also firmly believe the city centre can recover.
Alison Henderson, chief executive, said: “People want to get out and support the local economy and we need this to happen.
“Reform Street in particular lends itself well to a new way of doing business safely, particularly the hospitality trade, because it is already pedestrianised.
“We need Dundee open for business again as soon as is possible. There are undoubtedly challenges ahead but if we all work together we can come through this.”
Councillor Kevin Keenan, Labour group leader, had previously called for a European-style street cafe trade to help firms open up while still adhering to social distancing guidelines.
He said: “I have already spoken to the council about licensing issues around city centre cafes and pubs to allow them to move seats outside.
“I think Reform Street would lend itself to this as it is pedestrianised and I think we could even look at giving over parking spaces in the short term to allow for more hospitality spaces.”
“We need to see the start of a recovery and we will support business in any way we can.”