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Shop Safe, Shop Local: East Herts Council in campaign plea to shoppers to support Bishop's Stortford town centre

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A "vitally important" campaign has been launched to support Bishop's Stortford town centre.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on retailers, pubs, restaurants and cafés, so East Herts Council is asking customers to make a pledge to 'Shop Safe, Shop Local'.

Cllr Jan Goodeve, the council's executive member for planning and growth, said: "Every year we make a New Year's resolution to lose weight, get fit etc, but in 2021 it's vital we also support our own communities. By buying your meat from a local butcher or ordering a takeaway from a local café or restaurant, you will provide much-needed support to your local community."

Bishop's Stortford BID manager Gina Thomas shopping in North Street (43998292)
Bishop's Stortford BID manager Gina Thomas shopping in North Street (43998292)

Many retailers now offer online shopping while cafés and restaurants are delivering takeaways.

Latest research reveals that for every £1 spent with an independent business, between 50p and 70p circulates back into the local economy.

Cllr Goodeve added: "We all love our high streets, but we all need to do our bit to support local businesses. It's simple: we have to buy from local retailers and order takeaway services otherwise we lose them. I would urge residents to support local businesses during the pandemic by purchasing local goods and services online."

Wallfields, Hertford. Members of EHC Executive. .Cllr Jan Goodeve. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (43998276)
Wallfields, Hertford. Members of EHC Executive. .Cllr Jan Goodeve. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (43998276)

Bishop's Stortford Business Improvement District (BID) manager Gina Thomas said: "The Shop Safe, Shop Local campaign is vitally important for Bishop's Stortford, and having been involved in the discussions with East Herts around what this campaign will involve, we are pleased to add our support to it.

"By shopping locally now, you can ensure our town's businesses survive this third lockdown.

"Not only does our high street employ many local people, it provides us with multiple amenities. We're lucky to have so much variety with a choice of cafés and restaurants, hair and beauty salons, retailers, essential service providers, banks and building societies, a post office, health services and leisure options such as a bowling alley, cinema, games centre and gyms.

"These businesses have worked hard to put in place Covid-secure measures and many are operating in a restricted way during lockdown within permitted guidelines. You can still support them, just in a different way for now. Look up your favourite online and find out how."

East Herts' Reopening the High Streets Safely programme is being backed with up to £132,170 funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

10 tips for safe shopping...

* Make a pledge to support local businesses throughout 2021

* Shop online with your local high street retailer wherever possible during lockdown

* Give yourself a treat and order a takeaway

* When shopping for essential goods and services, abide by the physical distancing signage – keep 2 metres

* In store, wear a face covering at all times

* Wash your hands and use hand sanitisers when shopping for essential goods

* Handle as few things as possible, pick up only what you want to buy

* When you're making a purchase, use a card and take your own bag

* Avoid crowds – if there's a queue, call back later

* Remember, if you have any Covid-19 symptoms, you must self-isolate.

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