‘We’re able to keep all our guys’
Belfast-based Suitor Brothers is the city’s go-to place for tailoring. Run by brothers Chris and William, it has provided stylish suits for Van Morrison, Carl Frampton and Ronnie O’Sullivan. When the pandemic hit, so were sales, but the furlough scheme saved jobs.
“We kept all our guys – my
brother and I, who are partners, have three staff and we’re retaining them all,” says Chris, 37. “I welcome the extension of the furlough scheme as it will help keep my staff employed through what is guaranteed to be the hardest winter period retail has faced since the last war.
“If we didn’t have the furlough scheme in place we would have to let people go. Basing it on current trade, we don’t have any need for staff, so we’re thankful. If business does take a spike around December or spring we can bring the guys back as we need them.
“When the UK Government came out and said it was going to help us pay the wages, that was great. We didn’t want to let anybody go. We were struggling to get as much money in as possible, then the UK Government introduced the furlough scheme and all our guys have been furloughed. We made up their wages to 100 per cent.”