Shop Local: Call to help save independent shops and jobs as non-essential retailers reopen

Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce president Jamie Banks and Federation of Small Businesses chair Mike Cherry. Pictures...

Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce president Jamie Banks and Federation of Small Businesses chair Mike Cherry. Pictures: Ken Mears / Andrew Marshall (FSB) - Credit: Archant

Business leaders have called for people to shop local this Christmas as non-essential retailers prepare to reopen from today.

Shop Local

Shop Local - Credit: Archant

London comes out of the four-week lockdown in Tier 2 of the government’s coronavirus restrictions, which allow all retail shops to open as long as they follow Covid-19 guidelines.

Face coverings must still be worn on public transport and in most indoor settings, including shops, unless exempt.

Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce president Jamie Banks said: “Shopping locally and trading locally are really very important to keep our local area active, and to preserve and support as many of our local businesses and the jobs which they provide as possible”.

The chamber runs a weekly phone-in on Wednesdays, from 11am to noon, during which businesses can share experiences and get help with accessing the government’s Covid-19 support.

Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce president Jamie Banks said: “Shopping locally and trading locally are really very im...

Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce president Jamie Banks said: “Shopping locally and trading locally are really very important to keep our local area active." Picture: PA Images - Credit: PA


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“Business owners encouraged each other to support local businesses - whether physically open or operating click and collect or online deliveries - local suppliers and local shops this Christmas,” Mr Banks said.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) says small businesses will want reassurance about how long Tier 2 measures will be in place and what can be expected in the new year.

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FSB national chair Mike Cherry called for a “roadmap” to be set out as soon as possible to safeguard jobs and livelihoods.

“We would urge the public to continue to shop local, shop small and shop small online where possible,” Mr Cherry said.

“Small businesses, for many, are the beating heart of our communities.

“We must band together to make sure we save small firms and jobs from being lost.”

London policy chair Rowena Howie added: “These have been trying and difficult times for so many, and with the festive season upon us, it’s never been more important to see trading resume.

“Many small businesses will be issuing a sigh of relief that they can operate in Tier 2 in what is the busiest month of the year for many.”

Anyone in business - regardless of size and sector - who has questions about the current situation or support can contact chamber secretary Mary Clements at mary@bdchamber.co.uk or on 020 8591 6966.

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