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Shop Safely! – Shop-Local! – Time to Rally behind our Local Shops and Businesses A message from the Leader of Torridge District Council – Councillor Ken James

“As final preparations are made to reopen our towns, high streets and businesses on Wednesday a lot of the focus has quite rightly been on doing this safely. Business owners have been checking and implementing measures to prevent the spread of covid-19 but Torridge’s track record of keeping the numbers low has already been impressive and I know that with everyone’s vigilance and cooperation we can continue to stay on top of that.

Instead I wanted to focus on what I hope should be on everybody’s shopping list this Christmas and that’s to rally round and give our support to the local high street and businesses that are so vitally important as a source of work and incomes for families in the area. The aim is a simple one and that is to ask each one of us individually and collectively to consider pledging as much of our spending as possible with local shops and businesses and to put “Shop-Local” at the top of all our shopping lists in the coming weeks. If we all spend just a small amount of money with this local focus in mind – collectively it will become a powerful economic stimulus and one, that we as Torridge residents, can be in control of. It’s worth remembering that according to economic data 63p of every £ spent local – stays local.

Even if you do have to shop online for certain items, many of our independent retailers now sell online and stores such as Etsy actually allow you to locate sellers close to you. So, there are plenty of ways we can support our local traders and help give their businesses a boost even if you aren’t able to show your support in person.

I hope that as many as possible will join the Shop-Local campaign this week and particularly on Saturday 5th December, which is designated nationally as “Small Business Saturday”. Now in its eighth year, Small Business Saturday is arguably the UK’s most successful small business campaign, which last year saw an estimated £800m spent in a single day with small businesses right across the UK. The Council will be supporting this initiative by making all our car parks free to park in for the day and watch out for further free parking days in the run up to Christmas.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and please spread the word – Shop Safely – Shop Locally!”