Appeal for people to shop locally in run-up to Christmas

Weston High Street, just before lockdown. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

People are being encouraged to shop locally in the run-up to Christmas. - Credit: Archant

People are being encouraged to support local businesses in the final week before Christmas. 

Shops have been hit hard by the pandemic, with many forced to close for months during the lockdowns, and town leaders are urging people to show their support for businesses over the festive season. 

The Weston Mercury launched its Shop Local campaign in October to encourage people to support their local independent traders.

Mark Canniford, North Somerset Council’s executive member for the economy and community safety, said: “Our High Streets need us all currently and without our High Streets what a desolate and sad place our town would be.  

“So please go out and buy from our shops so we can enjoy them in the years to come. 

“Remember money spent in our own town comes back around in terms of their spending in our communities. All have a great Christmas and stay safe.” 

Non-essential shops reopened again after the second lockdown earlier this month. 

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As North Somerset is currently in tier three, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés are only able to serve takeaways. 

Retailers can now open as long as they follow safety guidelines to keep staff and shoppers safe. 

Plastic screens at tills, sanitiser stations and floor markings to keep shoppers two metres apart are just some of the measures in place to make premises Covid-secure. 

Customers must wear masks in shops, unless exempt, and practise social distancing. 

A number of businesses have gone digital and launched new click and collect and local delivery services during the pandemic. 

An online platform has been set up to enable people to buy from North Somerset-based artists and crafts people at made.innorthsomerset.co.uk 

A new online high street is also being developed in Weston at shoplocalwsm.co.uk 

The authority’s deputy leader Mike Bell added: “Our local businesses have been amazing this year in supporting our community with home deliveries, school meals and providing Covid-safe services.  

“They've had it hard and deserve our backing more than ever, it really is a case of use them or lose them.  

“I would encourage residents to shop local wherever they can and to borrow a phrase, to keep doing it - local businesses are for life, not just for Christmas."

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