12th August 2020
Shop Local Week (10 – 16 August) is part of the Government’s Enjoy Summer Safely campaign which encourages people to pop out to their favourite greengrocer, bakery or florist, or any other local shop while following safety guidelines.
Belfast One businesses have brought in a wide range of measures, such as plastic partitions at tills and hand sanitiser stations, to protect customers.
Here are eight reasons why customers should visit the high street this week:
1. Help the high street and support the local economy
Shopping at local businesses pumps money into the Belfast economy, and by spending money in their local shop, restaurant, café or pub, shoppers can do their bit to aid our national recovery across the country.
2. Save jobs – and create even more
Supporting our local shops and businesses creates jobs in local communities, supporting often young and disadvantaged people to find employment. Helping to grow the number of jobs in Belfast makes for a better place to live and work, which then creates a healthy economy for the community.
3. Great deals
People might be surprised to see just how competitive the prices are in your local shops. Independent retailers often reward regular customers, while others often provide great deals that can’t be found in major outlets – meaning people save money as they spend. Consumers can also save money eating out – the Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme is being provided by the government, saving diners up to £10 per head on eat-in meals on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in one of Belfast One’s participating businesses.
4. A safe way to shop
Businesses across Belfast One have been following Government guidance and implementing a range of measures to ensure people are safe while they shop, such as customer limits inside the store, plastic partitions at tills and hand sanitizing stations.
5. Preserving the heart of the community
A thriving high street is key to boosting the potential of Belfast City Centre where people can socialise as well as shop. Local businesses also generate revenue to support public services such as libraries, parks and roads.
6. Spoilt for choice
Small and local businesses often stock items which are made locally and aren’t available elsewhere, providing a great range of choice and unique products that bring much-needed originality and variety into the community – including rare finds and items that aren’t mass produced.
7. A better shopping experience
Small businesses are often run by people who live nearby. As Newry continues to recover from the pandemic, the experience of buying locally from a friendly face offers a dose of normality that many people may have missed.
8. Help the environment
Local shops often source their goods locally, helping to reduce their carbon footprint. When shopping local, people are also more likely to walk or cycle to get there – doing their bit to reduce air pollution, reduce traffic and improve the quality of the nation’s high streets.
Michelle Ovens, Director of Small Business Saturday UK and Founder of Small Business Britain said:
Shop Local is an important campaign to encourage more people to return to shopping locally, in a way that is safe and gives them confidence. The British high street is confronting seismic changes, which have been accelerated by COVID-19. Small businesses are facing a really tough time, but they are also at the forefront of responding to this challenge and evolving these much-loved centres into places that enrich communities and add value to people’s lives. Now is the time to show your local area some love.