Worle vape shop closed by North Somerset Council
PUBLISHED: 14:00 08 April 2020
The owners of a vape shop in Worle claim their business is more essential than Homebase and should not have been forced to close.
Broski’s Vape Store, in High Street, was shut down by North Somerset Council on April 3 and was criticised for ‘deliberately flouting’ the coronavirus lockdown.
Owners, Billy and Josh Grigolo denied that was the case arguing that the NHS had recommended vaping over smoking, so it needed to be available during a health crisis.
Josh has launched a petition asking for official clarification to keep vape stores open during the lockdown.
Billy said: “We are not open to ‘money grab’ as some people say – we provide an essential service to our customers and we don’t want to let them down.
“We implemented a one in, one out policy and cleaned down the counters after every customer to stay safe. All staff were checking their temperatures every day.
“We still believe it’s much safer for people to visit a vape shop with these policies in place than a hardware store or supermarket full of people where people can pick up things and put them down, which is not possible in a vape shop.”
The council criticised Broski’s Vape Store for staying open and actively encouraging customer visits through social media.
The High Street shop posted on Facebook on March 25 with a story about Homebase confirming it would stay open – a decision that has since been reversed: “What’s more essential? Getting your vape supplies to keep you off the cigs, or buying wallpaper, paint and lawnmowers?”
On March 28 it said: “After still not receiving any clarity from the relevant authorities, we have decided to continue to stay open, for you our loyal customers and all other vapers out there.”
Trading standards officers visited the store on April 2.
It closed on April 3 after giving customers the chance to stock up, and is still offering deliveries.
Deputy leader Mike Bell, whose executive portfolio includes trading standards, said at the time: “The action taken by our officers today sends a very clear message that we will not tolerate deliberate flouting of the rules which puts the lives of others in danger.
“Delivery services through telephone or online retail can still operate and are encouraged.
“I also appreciate that this is a worrying time for businesses – but there is a lot of financial assistance on offer and I would encourage everyone to check out the help available.”
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