There is no denying many local businesses and charity groups have been negatively impacted by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many local stores have remained open, providing an invaluable service for many residents, there has been a marked increase in online shopping.
Even as stores re-open, there will be concerns about shopping safely, and this will lead to online shopping remaining the clear choice for many people. This is a concern for local businesses, and it is why there has been a call for a “Buy Local” campaign in the Royal Borough.
This is a scheme which has received cross-party support in the local council. A motion has been proposed that looks to encourage residents to spend money locally.
Greenwich has received support but more can be done
There has been support for Greenwich from the Government, businesses in the area have received more than £30m in grants, but a lot of local companies face a challenging future.
Local councillors have liaised with business owners and charities to listen to the concern’s firms have and to ensure that there is proper support in place. There has been a call for a new promotional campaign, and there has been talk about a voluntary loyalty scheme implemented which will reward people for shopping locally.
This is a time for innovation in the local economy
This is a time to be innovative and think outside of the box. It is essential to support local businesses because when local businesses thrive, the local housing market benefits too. As a homeowner, you will benefit from local stores remaining open, but you can also benefit from the area remaining vibrant. In the long-run, this will help you to sell your home, and hopefully for a more appealing price.
Councillor Nigel Fletcher, said: “We are, hopefully, beyond the worst of the COVID-19 outbreak for now, but the economic impact is perhaps only just beginning, and will potentially be with us for much longer. If we want to save local shops, businesses and charities, we need to do all we can – and urge local people to join us in doing so.”
Nigel Fletcher continued by saying; “These are people’s jobs and livelihoods, but they are also important parts of our communities – whether it’s heritage assets like Severndroog Castle, entertainment venues like Greenwich Theatre, pubs like the Pelton Arms or our familiar local independent shops. COVID-19 has taken so much away from us – but it has also showed us the power of community spirit when we all pull together. We are going to need that spirit again in the next phase of this crisis, and I hope we can all agree tonight to begin that work.”
Councillor Geoff Brighty seconded the motion, and he paid tribute to the local stores who have worked tirelessly during the lockdown period. Geoff also raised concerns about rent increases which have been proposed for some areas by the Council.
Geoff Brighty said; “They've done a great job and I think we ought to express our appreciation for the job they've done at a difficult time. I hope we can all unite in showing our support for local businesses and wishing them well, and remember that if we don't use them, we'll lose them.”
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