Supported by Worcester MP Robin Walker and Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, the Worcester News’ Love Local Business campaign encourages readers to back local traders and organisations by spending their money with them as opposed to large national chain retailers.
Many of these businesses re-opened on Monday June 15, after more than two months of being closed, while others such as hairdressers and pubs will be looking at July 4 as their return date. For those businesses that have been able to remain open during the lockdown, many have seen a significant loss in income.
Worcester News editor Michael Purton said: “This is a crucial time for local businesses as they try to recover from the impact of the lockdown which, for many, has seen them without any income for more than two months. In this area, we are fortunate to have so many great local, independent businesses and we need our community to support them now to make sure we don’t lose them.”
CEO of Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce Sharon Smith said: “We are thrilled to be able to partner with this incredible campaign. We have been tirelessly supporting businesses across the region to restart, recover and rebuild, whilst enabling them to be able to access all the support they need. This campaign aims to further this support recovery by sharing the incredible businesses, services and products our region has to offer, and we couldn’t be prouder to help to promote them.”
MP Mr Walker said: “Worcester’s independent businesses are a crucial part of what makes our city special and I know that the Covid-19 crisis has been a huge strain on so many of them. As life begins to return to some degree of normality it is more important than ever that we back local businesses and get out there and support them.”
Crowngate Shopping Centre is also supporting the campaign, and is among those local businesses impacted by the lockdown.
Speaking about many of the centre’s shops re-opening on Monday 15 June, Centre Manager Michael Lloyd, said: “It is all about the customers returning and feeling confident and safe to do so. The team at Crowngate have worked with the retailers and businesses to ensure all risk assessments and paperwork is completed and that they have safe systems of work in place so that customers who walk into the business are 100 per cent confident about their safety.
“The health and wellbeing of our employees, customers and visitors remains our first priority and we’re working closely with all those on site to ensure they can operate safely, and in line with public health advice. This includes introducing additional signage, cleaning and hygiene measures on site and asking visitors to comply with social distancing rule at all times.”
Shoppers are encouraged to use cars (ample parking) and bike stands. Managers are also keen to point out some of the unique features Worcester offers.
Mr Lloyd said: “Worcester offers retail and leisure, the countryside, the River Severn, and Worcester is proudly made up of 65 per cent independent businesses.
For information on how the Chamber can support you, click here.