Christmas may be a little different this year but our Shop Local campaign has joined the voices of those calling on shoppers to remember they can still support local businesses.
Boris Johnson has announced a national lockdown to run from November 5 until December 2 but that does not mean local Christmas shopping is cancelled – you have until the close of play Wednesday to visit the high streets, or can shop online locally after that.
Barnstaple town centre manager Hannah Harrington said: “It’s still possible to support your local businesses and get your shopping done in time for Christmas.
“A lot of your favourite high street stores will have a sales website and those that don’t will often have a click and collect or delivery service available, so please check on their websites or Facebook pages.
“We have been here before and a lot of businesses are geared up for this. They have been there to support you in the past few months and I urge people to support them now.”
The mayor of Barnstaple, Alan Rennles said it was vital to support the high street. He said: “The future prosperity of Barnstaple and jobs for local people relies on us all using local shops and businesses whether it be for the weekly shop, Christmas shopping and for those larger purchases for the home.
“f we don’t support our local shops we will lose them and this could have a dramatic impact on the town and North Devon for residents and for the visitors to the town who see our High Street as part of their holiday.”
Barnstaple Town Council recently passed a motion to target as much of its spending with local retailers and businesses as possible and to use internet suppliers as a last resort.
Bideford mayor Peter Christie said: “Bideford is an unusual place in that so many of our shops are still locally owned.
“True we have some great representatives of national chains but we still possess a large number of ‘local shops’ offering a wide variety of goods - and they all contribute to the health and well-being of our town and its people - so do support them wherever you can in order to see Bideford through these troubled times.”
Great Torrington mayor Keeley Allin said it was devastating news shops would have to close again but called on everyone to support local as much as they can.
She said: “I know many local shops have taken time to create fantastic delivery services so if you are unable to visit in person, please make use of this too. Our local businesses have worked so hard over the last few months to ensure everyone’s shopping experience is as safe and enjoyable as possible and they deserve our continued support through these difficult times.
“Why not also support those shops closing by seeing if they have an online facility for buying or even purchasing a voucher to use at another time to continuing supporting and shopping local.”
South Molton mayor Paul Henderson said the lockdown could not have come at a worse time for local traders.
He said: “Already our local ‘essential’ businesses who did a fantastic job of home deliveries in the spring are preparing once again to offer the same service.
“Additionally, 35 of our local independent traders here had created an Elf Trail Christmas Campaign, but the lockdown hasn’t put them off - it just means the competition will now happen in December with some fantastic South Molton themed prizes to be won - you don’t get that shopping in a supermarket or online!”
Ilfracombe mayor Val Gates said “The shop local initiative is really important to the town as we move into this second lockdown.
“All of the local shops really stepped up to the mark at the start and changed a lot of their working practices to support the community.
“As we approach Christmas and people start to plan (whatever the guidance is at the time) I hope everyone remembers the businesses that worked really hard up to support them and reciprocate by buying local as much as possible.
“I have found in many instances that shopping local gives cost effective, quality goods backed by excellent customer service - something you rarely get online.”