We’re having a really poor time at the moment and have taken the decision to make some cuts.

We’ve had to make some changes to adjust to the decline in footfall and increasing overheads. I’d imagine a lot of businesses are doing the same.

Overheads like the National Living Wage have made a big difference to how well we can cope with these changes. By the time I’ve paid my staff, I wonder if the hours I’m opening for are worth it – I won’t stay open for the sake of a few pounds.

The paper girl and our Sunday worker have lost their jobs, and we’ve cut the hours for our Saturday and weekday staff.

I’d like to ask the people imposing these costs where they expect us to get the money from. Even the people in charge of the tobacco companies are making it difficult. They tell us not to put our prices above RRP, but they’ve just put their own prices up again. I put the letter we received from Imperial Tobacco up on display, so we can prove to customers that it isn’t our decision to make cigarettes expensive.

If I’m struggling, it must be even more difficult for the smaller shops.

However, I’m looking forward to Christmas – the atmosphere makes things better and hopefully trade will pick up.