Indies hopeful as they reopen after lockdown
Independent shops, restaurants and pubs are throwing open their doors today after a month of lockdown.They’re urging the public to make up for lost time and shop local for Christmas gifts.
Basil Fansa of the Local Buyers Club, said: “Businesses have spent the last month attempting to trade with effectively their hands tied behind their backs.
“It’s extraordinary how many have adapted fast to survive the pandemic, improving their web offerings and switching to click-and-collect. But there’s no substitute for serving customers inside the shop – they’ve missed out on massive amounts of trade during what’s usually their busiest time and they’ve missed out on human interactions with their community!
“We’re part of various business networks around London and the overwhelming plea coming from small businesses is that people make a concerted effort to shop this week and to help make up for the huge amounts of trade they’ve lost.”
Heidi Early of Earlybird Designs in Stoke Newington said "“This lockdown has been so stressful and emotional but the local customers have been amazing like they were before. It has been frustrating that it hasn’t been a level playing field because, unlike the last lockdown when supermarkets were the only thing left open and people could only shop for essentials, this time the rules could be played around with - anyone who was selling food could open. November is the second busiest time of the year for us - losing this trading month has really put us on the back foot so we’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Hopefully customers will come out and support local and keep the community alive!”
During the first UK lockdown in March the team behind the Local Buyers Club set up My Virtual Neighbourhood, a London-wide directory of small businesses and how they’re trading.
Visit www.myvirtualneighbourhood.com to discover and support small businesses near you.
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