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‘Shop local to help keep our town alive!’

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Shops prepare for post-lockdown re-opening

RESIDENTS are being urged to shop locally to help Westbury’s businesses get back on their feet after lockdown, as the government plans to allow non-essential stores to re-open on April 12th.

With months of lost trade during the lockdown, many businesses are now in a fight for survival.

Mayor, cllr Mike Sutton, has issued a plea through the White Horse News, for the community to get behind local businesses saying now is the time to show your support for them. They need you more than ever if they are to survive, he says. 

 “Local shops and businesses are the core of our community and I would urge everyone to shop locally whenever possible and contribute to the local economy.

“The changing nature of retail and high streets has been much debated nationally but where the community shops locally and the economy is vibrant, then businesses will be encouraged to invest in that local economy to the betterment of our town.

“Please where possible shop local.”

Gary Davies of Davies of Westbury in Maristow Street said, “We need to make sure that people get behind local shops and businesses – it’s vital that we shop local to help keep the community alive.

“If you want our local businesses to thrive, and be here in the town, then you do need to support us. We have lots of great businesses in Westbury – so come on out, and come on into Westbury.”

Bob Summerfield, business manager of the Imperial charity shops in high street and Warminster Road, told White Horse News the lockdown had knocked them for six.

“We are hanging on by a thread, we are trying to keep going,” he said. “If it wasn’t for the fact I’ve been able to access furlough pay for staff and the local recovery support grant, we would have gone under by now.

“The nearer we get to 12th April I’m very cautiously optimistic that we can survive, but it will need lots of customers in both shops.”

Bob said both stores had been shut throughout lockdown but now staff were starting to work behind the scenes to get the shops and stock up together – a positive of the lockdowns has been that people took the time to have clearouts at home, so plenty of items have been donated. 

Another positive is that, restrictions dependant, Imperial are planning to restart their popular coach trips to places of interest and the coast etc, in July, but Bob stressed they would require monetary donations to be able to do this. 

Andrew Elliott from Elliott’s Butchers said it was important to encourage people to support local businesses and the shop local campaign.  “I would say to people ‘please continue using the high street shops, or come and give us a go.”

Eileen Harris from Quality Suites said,“It’s important that people support local businesses, otherwise we will end up losing them. We have been going for 30 years and we are grateful for all the support we have received – but now more than ever, it’s important that people shop local.”

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