2020 marked locksmith Eric Todd’s 20th year at his premises on the Diamond, the red painted facade and gold lettering of Fermanagh and Tyrone Locksmith a well-known sight in the heart of the Enniskillen townscape.

However, since the coronavirus outbreak and the implementation of the government regulations that resulted in many businesses closing temporarily, 2020 now marks a year of change for the locksmith, who has recently made the decision to leave his shop in the centre of town to take his business fully mobile.

Commenting on the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on his business, Eric said: “Initially the main impact was that we had to close the shop at the time. Everybody else was closing down so that meant that there was no trading hardly with anybody. It was huge and you sort of thought, will I survive?”

Although his shop had to close, Eric was still able to do calls where people were locked out and had lost keys. Continuing to provide this service during lockdown, Eric decided that it was in his best interest to close his shop permanently to focus on this side of his business.

“I’ve always been doing this and I’ve always been doing outside work but a lot of the time I’d be doing it in the mornings or the evenings or if I was doing it during the day sometimes my shop would be closed,” explained Eric.

“Now I have time to do it. My outside work is my favourite part of my work. I prefer to be out opening doors and making keys on the side of the road or at a house or business,” he shared.

“Like everybody, you have to be proactive and adapt to this so I suppose in a way it made me think about my business and so I decided to do what I did,” he told this newspaper.

Noting that although he is very happy with his decision to go fully mobile, Eric says there will be certain things that he will miss now that he no longer has his shop at the Diamond.

“I probably had the best site in town, where you had a view of the Diamond. You could always see stuff going on out there. There was no day that was the same. That always helped your day. If there was a day that you didn’t make any money, at least the view was good,” laughed Eric, adding that he’ll miss the other shopkeepers and the banter of barber Leo McGrail, who has recently closed his business on the Diamond due to his retirement.

Eric’s locksmith services are still available by contacting him by phone or online.

“To me this has made me think about where I am and going forward, and being really proactive about it. I want to thank my staff for helping me along the way,” he said.

“I feel good that I’ve made the change. I can’t say anything negative about it,” Eric told The Impartial Reporter.