Shop Local: Mercury launches campaign to encourage shopping at local independent businesses

The Weston Mercury has launched its Shop Local campaign.

The Weston Mercury has launched its Shop Local campaign. - Credit: Archant

The Weston Mercury has launched a new campaign aimed at celebrating local independent businesses.

The Mercury and its sister paper, the North Somerset Times, has launched its #ShopLocal campaign to encourage people to use their local high streets, or risk losing them.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to pose a huge threat to businesses and we are keen to support local independent traders as much as we can.

Over the coming weeks, we will be talking to as many businesses as possible to find out how they are coping and how shoppers can support them – either online or in person.

We are launching the campaign now to encourage people to shop locally for Christmas, but we will be continuing with the appeal into 2021.

Chairman of Weston Business Independent District, Paul Batts, said more emphasis has been put on local independents in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “It is difficult at the moment, businesses have been hit really badly by the pandemic and we need money to work its way back into the local economy, which can only come from customers spending their money locally.

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“High streets are changing, we are seeing more and more chains struggling and that puts the emphasis back on the local independents in areas such as Grove Village and Orchard Meadows.

“It’s all very well sitting at home using click and collect websites but not using local shops is to the detriment of the town, use them of lose them that is the sad fact.”

The Mercury has surveyed a number of business owners in Weston town centre, with 77 per cent saying they were confident in the future prosperity of their business at the start of the year.

However, eight months into the pandemic, the figure has now dropped to 57 per cent.

Weston’s MP John Penrose has given his support to the Mercury’s campaign.

He said: “High Streets are changing everywhere but, with plenty of support from local residents and regulars, we can make sure neighbourhood stores stay open to add variety and local character to whatever the future holds.”

Businesses in Weston, Worle and the villages who wish to be featured in the Mercury in future weeks can email or call 01934 422500.