A pandemic and a cost-of-living crisis have been devastating for businesses across the North East, and things don’t look to be improving anytime soon as more and more shops, pubs and restaurants close their doors.

For those businesses that managed to keep going during the height of the pandemic, many entrepreneurs thought they had survived the worst, until the full effects of the cost-of-living crisis were made clear.

Hospitality venues still seem to be suffering the most due to a reduction in footfall and people choosing to eat and drink at home to save money.

Here are some North East businesses that closed their doors/announced their closures in October 2022.

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Little Quaker Gin Distillery - Darlington

The Northern Echo: Paul and Leanne Colman from Darlington's Little Quaker Gin Distillery were sad to share the news they have decided to shut up shopPaul and Leanne Colman from Darlington's Little Quaker Gin Distillery were sad to share the news they have decided to shut up shop (Image: The Northern Echo)

The Darlington business was launched in Clark’s Yard in October 2018 by husband and wife team Paul and Leanne Colman.

It went on to win more than a dozen industry awards including being named UK Gin Distillery of the Year in the Corporate LiveWire Global Awards in April this year.

In a statement, the couple said: “This is a post we hoped we would never have to write.

“We have taken the decision to cease trading from November 5, going out with a bang whilst we are at the top.”

Next Beauty & Home - Metro Centre

The Northern Echo: Next Beauty & Home in the Metro Centre has now closedNext Beauty & Home in the Metro Centre has now closed (Image: Sarah Caldecott/Newsquest)

The Next Beauty & Home Store in the Red Mall at the Metro Centre was seen earlier this week shuttered as signs were put up informing customers of the closure.

The shop, which had its own beauty hall with kiosks and a furniture range, first opened in October 2020 after it closed as a Debenhams just months before.

At the time, Next described the opening of the first of a kind for the North East as an "exciting opportunity" and one that will bring a number of jobs.

Read more: Darlington distillery announces shock closure after four years of trading

The Velveteen Rabbit – Northallerton

The Northern Echo: The Velveteen Rabbit in Northallerton has closedThe Velveteen Rabbit in Northallerton has closed (Image: Hannah Chapman/Newsquest)

The award-winning cafe in North Yorkshire has closed, citing that the cost of the living crisis made operating too expensive to continue.

The Velveteen Rabbit's Secret Garden cafe was located on Northallerton's South Parade, and despite only opening in April of this year, it had quickly established itself as a favourite for Northallerton foodies.

Despite the cafe's popularity, and a recent feature in Living North after winning the Flavours of Herriot Country award for customer service, rising costs have made The Velveteen Rabbit unprofitable.

Nellie’s Pancake House - Guisborough

The Northern Echo: Nellie's Pancake House in Guisborough has now closed its doorsNellie's Pancake House in Guisborough has now closed its doors (Image: Google Streetview)

The businesswoman behind the pancake restaurant has announced she has made the “heart-breaking” decision to close.

Nellie's Pancake House in Guisborough made the announcement on three weeks ago before a second post five days ago said: “Thank you to every one of our amazing customers, we've had a 'flippin fiesta' of a time over the last 2 years!”

The eatery was opened by businesswoman Jo Richardson in 2020, but it had a rough start after the Covid pandemic halted their plans of an April opening.

Read more: Sadness as much-loved cafe forced to shut down as staff lose their jobs

The High Plaice – Alston

The Northern Echo: The High Plaice in Alston has shut up shopThe High Plaice in Alston has shut up shop (Image: Google Streetview)

The rising cost of ingredients and rising energy costs has led to the closure of a Northumberland fish and chip shop, The High Plaice, will shut its doors on Saturday, November 5.

Nicola Ridley, who has worked at the shop for 16 years, said: “A lot of our fish was coming from Russia and our vegetable oil comes from Ukraine, and the prices just went through the roof.

“The fish went from £167 to £245.”

Scarlet Band – County Durham

The Northern Echo: Scarlet Band is no longer operating in County DurhamScarlet Band is no longer operating in County Durham (Image: The Northern Echo)

The owner of the regional bus company which has served communities for over 100 years said rising costs and staff shortages contributed to closing the business.

Graeme Torrance, director of Scarlet Band for the last 15 years, paid tribute to all the workers and customers in towns, pit villages and rural communities throughout County Durham and Darlington.

He felt, however, that the company could no longer continue to provide a full, reliable service due to the financial strain on their finances.

The 101-year-old business ceased operating on Saturday, October 29.

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