A West Lancashire charity and a Rossendale clothes shop are the stars of a new Amazon Prime Video series examining how businesses coped during the pandemic.

Woodlands Animal Sanctuary, based in Mawdesley near Ormskirk, and Ruby & Daisy feature in all five episodes of the Prime-exclusive Business As Unusual. The series follows eight companies on a journey through lockdowns, re-openings and the every-day challenges faced by businesses across the UK.

Narrated by Downton Abbey’s Phyllis Logan, the audience is given a upfront view of business owners navigating through one of the most unpredictable periods in modern history with the guidance of a local business coach, James Burke. The series starts at the onset of the pandemic and showcases the journey through the various stages of national and local restrictions.

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The scenarios are real and some are seemingly impossible, not least the founders of Ruby & Daisy in Rossendale who decided to go their separate ways as the pressure of operating a fast-paced retail business alongside family commitments gave them cause to consider their priorities. Meanwhile trustee Vicki Maude of Woodlands Animal Sanctuary battles to keep funding flowing in for the important work her late mother started.

Both businesses are supported through the series by business coach James who also takes the time to reflect on his period of homelessness as a teenager and how that has impacted his life and mindset today. James said: “It was certainly an experience being followed around by a filming crew over the course of two of the most tumultuous years, but I think it’s really important for people to see behind the scenes of businesses during that time.

“There are so many lessons to be learned which are still valuable today considering the current economic climate.” Click here to watch the series.

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