Updated: Jan 18
w/c 11th January 2021
Each week I attend a meeting with business representatives from across the town to discuss and progress borough wide initiatives.
One such project that we have collaborated on has been the ‘Shop Local, Shop Southend-on-Sea’ campaign. The purpose of which is to shine a light on the breadth of fantastic local businesses that support our local community, provide local jobs and stimulate the local economy.
As part of the ‘Shop Local’ campaign the partnership established a directory of firms, small and large, that you could choose to click and collect items from rather than opting to shop online. Doing so particularly supported those businesses that do not have a transactional website or do not get the level of traffic that some of the larger organisations do. Although many businesses have temporarily stopped this service due to the infection rates in our town, we will continue to have this directory available, especially for when restrictions ease.
Before the autumn series of lockdowns, the ‘Shop Local’ campaign saw the development of localised adverts and a video which encouraged residents to use their nearby shopping districts wherever possible rather than venturing out of town or shopping online. Although currently on hold, the campaign will be reignited once infection levels drop again and restrictions are eased.
Traders are encouraged to keep using their social media platforms to engage with their customers – share stories about what makes their business special, focus on the people that they employ, highlight the locally sourced products that they stock, the loyalty schemes offered, and more.
This week’s meeting saw an idea being progressed that we are all keen to provide in the hopes that it will give businesses additional support. Until we confirm plans, keep safely supporting your local businesses wherever possible and protect each other so that they can all reopen sooner.