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Bury Soft Play owner on adapting a business during Coronavirus pandemic




A soft play business owner has described the challenges of launching and adapting his business as the Covid-19 crisis develops.

Bury Soft Play launched earlier this year as a one-man business with no fixed premises. The idea initially was that groups and event planners might hire a set of play equipment for a party.

Business owner, sole trader Orron Bush said: “It all had to stop in March. I had to move from supplying halls and centres, to outside spaces and peoples’ gardens. But now I have had to stop all of that as well because the weather we have had.

Orron Bush has modified his soft play business to fit in with Covid restrictions	Picture by Mecha Morton
Orron Bush has modified his soft play business to fit in with Covid restrictions Picture by Mecha Morton

“Now I am doing exclusive hire.”

Mr Bush has now adapted to renting out his party equipment for private events, and is able to cater for towns all around the Bury St Edmunds area, to the far reaches of Suffolk, and into parts of Norfolk. Equipment available to hire includes bouncy castles, garden games, and slides.

He is also now holding weekend events in Risby village hall, with some pop-ups planned for Bury St Edmunds.

All plans, however, are subject to changing government guidance.

Orron Bush has modified his soft play business to fit in with Covid restrictions	Picture by Mecha Morton
Orron Bush has modified his soft play business to fit in with Covid restrictions Picture by Mecha Morton

Mr Bush continued: “I am trying to take the opportunities I do get. There are a lot of restrictions and I am currently putting together packages for groups of six.

“I have been working hard with health standards and completing the checks needed to allow events to go ahead safely.”

Mr Bush has ambitions to get a venue for his business in the long-term but is now still trying to make arrangements with village halls and playgroups.

“When we had the lockdown in March we wondered what was going to happen,” he continued.

Orron Bush has modified his soft play business to fit in with Covid restrictions	Picture by Mecha Morton
Orron Bush has modified his soft play business to fit in with Covid restrictions Picture by Mecha Morton

“I was worried but saw companies were offering their services. I was able to keep a bit going and save the summer!”

Mr Bush took the business on full-time last year but has been building it up over four years. He said he hds had no support during the pandemic from the govenment,

“It has been a challenge. There was a time when I thought the business might have to close, and it was a relief when I was able to start operating again.

“I have had a loyal customer base. I have been able to understand how people have to work hard to establish a business, but then adapt to challenges.”

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