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Over 20-year-old business named Omicron now shares name with latest COVID-19 variant

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By Joe Morgan and Jack Dyson via SWNS

Printing bosses are in disbelief after world health scientists have named the latest Covid-19 variant the same as their quarter-century-old business, Omicron.

But instead of fearing business dropping or having to change the name, they are now hoping their customers will finally stop spelling it incorrectly.

Dave Loveridge, director, and owner Mark Fawcett-Jones, have said they are hoping to spread some light during a difficult time by dressing up in Breaking Bad-style costumes and adding "not the variant" in email signatures.

The Omicron variant was first identified by researchers in southern Africa, and there have now been around 14 cases in the UK.

Omicron Reprographics, which named itself after the Greek letter long before Covid scientists, has been in Kent, England for 25 years.

Omicron Repro owner Mark Fawcett-Jones and director Dave Loveridge outside the Canterbury store (Omicron Reprographics via SWNS)

The printing company was notable at the start of the pandemic for producing a lot of banners, signs and handouts for hospitals in the county.

Mr. Loveridge said: "We've been asked by a few people if we'd considered changing the name, but we haven't.

"We've had the business since 2008, and it's been around for 25 years, so we're well-known throughout the southeast. We're hoping we won't need to change the name.

"It's our web address and email address. We're forever having to spell it to people as they get the name wrong all the time.

"We're hoping that now they're going to get right, having corrected people for the last 13 years."

Despite this, he has not witnessed a drop in trade.

Mr. Loveridge continued: "There's been no impact so far and we've had quite a busy day.

"If people believed it came from us and that we'd started it, then maybe we would have to consider changing the name.

"We're having current and former customers getting in touch and saying 'isn't that strange they've chosen your name?' The phone's just lit up."

Omicron would not be the first business to have faced calls to change names - such as Corona beer which denied that it would change branding in the wake of the pandemic.

However, when the militant terrorist group ISIS gained notoriety - several businesses, bands and a translation agency had to change their names to distance themselves.

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