‘Shop Local Week’ starts in the UK to help businesses recover from the pandemic


FILE PHOTO: People walking in front of local shops and restaurants in Broadway Market, East London (iStock)
FILE PHOTO: People walking in front of local shops and restaurants in Broadway Market, East London (iStock)

THE ‘Shop Local Week’ initiative, as part of the UK government’s Enjoy Summer Safely campaign, kickstarted on Monday (10) to help local businesses rebuild from the Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of the drive, the government is providing resources and support to small businesses to help them to engage local customers with the shopping experience in store and online, including template digital content to share with their followers.

“From corner shops and florists, to newsagents, cafes and pubs, our high streets are at the heart of every community in every corner of the UK. Business owners have done an incredible job so far to welcome shoppers back safely, and I hope people across the country will do their bit this week to help our high streets bounce back to protect jobs and support local communities,” said business secretary Alok Sharma.

Shoppers across the UK have been urged to spend locally during the week to aid national recovery across the country. It will create jobs for young and disadvantaged people and would develop a healthy economy for the community, an official statement said.

Consumers can also save money eating out – the Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme is being provided by the government, saving diners up to £10 per head on eat-in meals on MondaysTuesdays and Wednesdays in one of the 73,000 participating businesses.

“Businesses across the country have implemented measures to ensure people are safe while they shop, such as customer limits inside the store, plastic partitions at tills and hand sanitizing stations. Local businesses also generate revenue to support council services such as libraries, parks and roads that benefit communities across the UK,” the statement further said.

“The last few months have been incredibly hard for businesses across the country, which is why the government put in place an unprecedented package of measures to support them,” said small business minister Paul Scully

“As small businesses get back on their feet and reopen with new safety measures in place, consumers can lend a hand by shopping local – supporting local companies and jobs.”

Michelle Ovens, director of small business Saturday UK and founder of small business Britain, said: “Shop Local’ is an important campaign to encourage more people to return to shopping locally, in a way that is safe and gives them confidence. The British high street is confronting seismic changes, which have been accelerated by Covid-19.

“Small businesses are facing a really tough time, but they are also at the forefront of responding to this challenge and evolving these much-loved centres into places that enrich communities and add value to people’s lives. Now is the time to show your local area some love.”

Federation of small business national Chair Mike Cherry said: “The past few months have been among the most difficult that businesses have ever had and as we slowly reopen, the public can help by supporting their local businesses. Whether it’s your local grocer, decorators or florist, they all need the support of their communities in order to survive this crisis and thrive”

Small and local businesses often stock items which are made locally and aren’t available elsewhere else. They are often run by people who live nearby. Local shops often source their goods locally, helping to reduce their carbon footprint, said a government statement.