The government’s latest plan to kickstart the high street is the Shop Local Week, which began today (Monday 10 August). The scheme is designed to encourage shoppers to use local businesses in order to support local economies, create jobs and provide a boost for the community.
The launch of this campaign is timely with numerous high street chains cutting jobs or closing sites, leaving the high street in a dangerous position.
It says that ”from popping into a local family-run bakery for a loaf of bread, or buying a quirky gift from an independent shop, by shopping locally people can help local business owners and local communities get back up and running”.
As part of Shop Local Week, the government is providing resources and support to small businesses to help them to engage local customers with the shopping experience in store and online, including template digital content to share with their followers and customers are also encouraged to share their positive experiences of returning to local businesses on social media.
Today we're launching #ShopLocal week!— Dept for BEIS (@beisgovuk) August 10, 2020
We're encouraging shoppers to support their local high streets now that it's safe to go back and visit.
Share your best #ShopLocal 📷 🎥🤳 this week and tag @beisgovukhttps://t.co/ao6WVKeHAJ#EnjoySummerSafely @Brillbrighton pic.twitter.com/tdJSi0jMUl
As well as providing digital resources, the government has also outlined eight reasons why customers should visit the high street:
1. Help the high street and support the local economy
Shopping at local businesses pumps money into the local economy, and by spending money in their local shop, restaurant, café or pub, shoppers can do their bit to aid our national recovery across the country.
2. Save jobs – and create even more
Supporting high streets creates jobs in local communities, supporting often young and disadvantaged people to find employment. Helping to grow the number of jobs in local areas makes for a better place to live and work, which then creates a healthy economy for the community.
3. Great deals
People might be surprised to see just how competitive the prices are in your local shops. Independent retailers often reward regular customers, while others often provide great deals that can’t be found in major outlets – meaning people save money as they spend.
4. A safe way to shop
Businesses across the country have been following government guidance and implementing a range of measures to ensure people are safe while they shop, such as customer limits inside the store, plastic partitions at tills and hand sanitizing stations.
5. Preserving the heart of the community
A thriving high street is key to boosting the potential of a village or town where people can socialise as well as shop. Local businesses also generate revenue to support council services such as libraries, parks and roads that benefit communities across the UK.
6. Spoilt for choice
Small and local businesses often stock items which are made locally and aren’t available elsewhere else, providing a great range of choice and unique products that bring much-needed originality and variety into communities – including rare finds and items that aren’t mass produced.
7. A better shopping experience
Small businesses are often run by people who live nearby. As the UK continues to recover from the pandemic, the experience of buying locally from a friendly face offers a dose of normality that many people may have missed.
8. Help the environment
Local shops often source their goods locally, helping to reduce their carbon footprint. When shopping local, people are also more likely to walk or cycle to get there – doing their bit to reduce air pollution, reduce traffic and improve the quality of the nation’s high streets.