Covid-19: Government urges consumers to shop locally

The UK government has urged consumers to shop and spend locally this week to help retailers and other businesses rebuild following the coronavirus crisis.

Shop Local Week runs from today (10 August) to 16 August, and is part of the government’s ’Enjoy Summer Safely’ campaign, a multichannel drive across TV, radio online and out of home advertising to encourage people to return to something resembling a pre-pandemic way of life, while following safety guidelines.

According to the government, getting more people spending in local bakeries and independent gift shops, for example, will help drive the economy, protect jobs, and preserve their communities, as well as being better for the environment than travelling a greater distance to shop.

The campaign reiterates safety guidance and highlights the hygiene measures implemented by many retailers such as the introduction of plastic partitions at the point of sale and sanitising stations in commercial premises.

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.”

Federation of Small Businesses national chair, Mike Cherry, commented: “It’s vital now more than ever that we do what we can to support our local small businesses.

“The past few months have been among the most difficult that businesses have ever had and as we slowly reopen, the public can help by supporting their local businesses. Whether it’s your local grocer, decorators or florist, they all need the support of their communities in order to survive this crisis and thrive.”

Cherry added: “Even those businesses who haven’t been able to reopen their stores, or members of the public who are continuing to shield, then shopping online is a great way to still do your part.”

The government is providing resources and support to small businesses to help them to engage local customers with the shopping experience in stores and online, including template digital content to share with their followers.