With the whole of the UK instructed to stay inside, small business owners and Sutton's self-employed were amongst those hit by the global pandemic. 

Since March, business owners have had to quickly adapt to Covid-19, in fear of being left behind, shut down or left struggling to survive without a regular source of income. 

Others found themselves without a job after their company couldn't afford to continue their contract due to the outbreak. 

Below we have spoken to four of our readers who have had to learn to adjust to the pandemic: 

I was made redundant

Your Local Guardian: Emily Figueira- Instagram @mallardandmeEmily Figueira- Instagram @mallardandme

Emily Figueira, 28, from Hackbridge, decided to launch her art print business after losing her job to the pandemic. 

The 28-year-old is using her passion for illustration to sell printed portraits and pictures on Etsy

Emily said: "Being made redundant was terrifying. 

"I thought everything I worked for over the years was for nothing. 

However, I feel like this has given me the best chance of being able to live my dream life. 

"I’ve wanted to have a creative business since I graduated 7-years-ago with a graphic design degree but I have never been brave enough and I’ve always had responsibilities and bills to pay. 

"This has been a big push and it’s very scary but I’m determined to make this work.

"Who knows where this could take me."

I was rejected from furlough 

Your Local Guardian: Ashley LalfamAshley Lalfam

Ashley Lalfam, 31, from Carshalton, who has over seven years of digital marketing experience had a massive contract end in April. 

He said: "Since the pandemic, I have only earned £810 ( before tax ) from a small sash window start-up business. 

"I tried to get a grant but I wasn't accepted because my accounts were due a month after their deadline. 

"They could see I had paid for the last three years of my business.

"I have hugely struggled.

I really don't want to shut down my business as I enjoy working on projects and it took me a huge risk to build this."


Someone reported me to Environmental Health 

Your Local Guardian: Chris Latter Chris Latter

Chris Latter, 36, of iPhone Repairs Surrey, has made a successful career working from home in Wallington. 

At the start of lockdown, Chris was reported to the council and was later informed he had to close his business after not being classed as essential. 

He contacted Elliot Colburn for help due to working from home. 

He said: "I have always run my business from home. 

"Elliott Colburn went above and beyond and had me back repairing by the following morning.

"Since then, my business has boomed.

"I pride myself on honesty, reliability and excellent workmanship.

"I have done a lot of work for key workers and many shop workers."

I had coronavirus symptoms

Your Local Guardian: Richard Mead Richard Mead

Richard Mead, 29, from Wallington, quit his full-time job in estate agency to go to university and study photography whilst setting up his business last year. 

Richard said: "I was offered a position as a product photographer for an e-commerce company, alongside my normal shoots.

"I was going to be using the university studios - but in the last week of February, I was self-isolating with symptoms of Covid-19!

I had to make a choice - put a load of studio equipment on my credit card and set up a studio in my bedroom, or lose the job. 

"I went with the first option - which has allowed my business to keep going without needing to apply for any grants - even if it's just keeping my head above water.

"Since the restriction ease, I have been heading out with my camera and managed to get a paid job out of it.

"I have also been appointed the official photographer for CryerArts Theatre’s Open Air Festival."

Do you have an interesting lockdown story?

Email us at monica.charsley@newsquest.co.uk