The Government is urging shoppers to visit their local high street and support businesses during Shop Local Week (10-16 August), an incentive designed to help local businesses rebuild from the coronavirus pandemic.
Shop Local Week is part of the government’s Enjoy Summer Safely campaign, and is encouraging 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. Shopping local helps support the local economy, creates jobs and boosts local communities. Local businesses have brought in a wide range of measures to ensure their customers are protected and safe.
As part of Shop Local Week, 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.
To help kick off Shop Local Week, here are eight reasons why customers should visit the high street this week:
- Help the high street and support the local economy
Shopping at local businesses pumps money into the local economy, and by spending money in their local shop, restaurant, café or pub, shoppers can do their bit to aid our national recovery across the country.
- Save jobs – and create even more
Supporting our high streets creates jobs in local communities, supporting often young and disadvantaged people to find employment. Helping to grow the number of jobs in our local areas makes for a better place to live and work, which then creates a healthy economy for the community.
- Great deals
People might be surprised to see just how competitive the prices are in local shops. Independent retailers often reward regular customers, while others often provide great deals that can’t be found in major outlets – meaning people save money as they spend. 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 Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in one of the 73,000 participating businesses.
- A safe way to shop
Businesses across the country have been following government guidance and implementing a range of measures to ensure people are safe while they shop, such as customer limits inside the store, plastic partitions at tills and hand sanitizing stations.
- Preserving the heart of the community
A thriving high street is key to boosting the potential of a village or town where people can socialise as well as shop. Local businesses also generate revenue to support council services such as libraries, parks and roads that benefit communities across the UK.
- Spoilt for choice
Small and local businesses often stock items which are made locally and aren’t available elsewhere else, providing a great range of choice and unique products that bring much-needed originality and variety into communities – including rare finds and items that aren’t mass produced.
- A better shopping experience
Small businesses are often run by people who live nearby. As the UK continues to recover from the pandemic, the experience of buying locally from a friendly face offers a dose of normality that many people may have missed.
- Help the environment
Local shops often source their goods locally, helping to reduce their carbon footprint. When shopping local, people are also more likely to walk or cycle to get there – doing their bit to reduce air pollution, reduce traffic and improve the quality of the nation’s high streets.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said, “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.
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.”