Liz Kemp, who owns shops Kemps General Store in Malton, and Kemps on the Coast in Whitby, is one of the business owners featured in tonight’s BBC Panorama. The programme Panorama, ‘Business on the Brink’, presented by BBC’s reporter Richard Bilton and produced by Matt Bardo, goes out tonight Tuesday 1 December 8.30pm.

The programme, a candid film about the challenges faced by many businesses in North Yorkshire who are threatened by their customers being taken away by the Covid-19 pandemic, has been following businesses in our region since the summer across both lockdown periods.

Liz’s shop, Kemps on the Coast in Whitby, features first when non-essential shops were beginning to re-open after the first lockdown in June. The filming continues in August when Liz has extended into the next door shop in her Malton location to create a larger gift shop and expand her book offer, creating Kemps Books. Filming in November includes Liz preparing to shut her newly expanded shop again for the second lockdown and the programme closes with Liz preparing to re-open on 2 December.

Says Liz: “I am confident that the BBC, thanks to Richard and Matt the producer, has given an open and sensitive reflection of owning and running independent businesses in the north of England in these unprecedented times. My commentary is an honest opinion of how hard it has been, the challenges myself and my partner Jonathan have had to overcome and our resilience and commitment to keeping both shops running. The filming has been a challenge in itself but I hope many small businesses can find some optimism in this current situation. I haven’t seen the programme myself yet, and I will certainly be watching but I am just one of the businesses included. I send all the business owners that took part my best wishes for the future. We are a diverse group, but our passion for our businesses is shared.”

Liz and her teams at Kemps General Store and Kemps Book Shop in Malton and Kemps on the Coast in Whitby, look forward to welcoming customers on Wednesday 2 December.

Panorama, ‘Business on the Brink’ BBC Panorama 8.30pm Tuesday 1 December or watch on BBC iplayer.