Shop Local: ‘The importance of keeping it local’

PUBLISHED: 15:26 20 October 2020 | UPDATED: 17:17 20 October 2020

"The importance of keeping it local is critical during this pandemic and beyond," says Cllr Aigars Balsevics, the Mayor of Wisbech, as the Wisbech Standard launches its Shop Local campaign. Pictures: Wisbech Town Council / Ian Carter

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The Mayor of Wisbech shares his thoughts on how independent businesses have responded to the coronavirus pandemic for our #ShopLocal campaign.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, our business community has had to create innovative ways to survive.

Some have gone bust but some have changed their ways of trading to assist the community they serve who, through vulnerability or fear, have stopped venturing to the shops.

The outdoors markets were first to reopen where food and essentials could be purchased in fresh air.

Then came the cafes, restaurants and food retailers who started delivering take-aways and then home deliveries to residents, ensuring those unable to venture out were not forgotten or hindered from having their daily produce available.

Wisbech Mayor Cllr Aigars Balsevics hosted a socially distanced civic tea party at Wisbech Castle. Picture; WISBECH TOWN COUNCIL Wisbech Mayor Cllr Aigars Balsevics hosted a socially distanced civic tea party at Wisbech Castle. Picture; WISBECH TOWN COUNCIL

As shops and markets have gradually reopened, some have continued with this home delivery trend after seeing record numbers of orders, thus confirming the business model as viable and a number have actually expanded their offering.

The importance of keeping it local is critical during this pandemic and beyond.

Footfall to the market place increases potential footfall to businesses, shops, restaurants and cafes.

In Wisbech, transport to reach other areas for employment purposes is subject to the right bus route being available, or cycle networks, limiting the areas that are reasonably reachable on a daily basis.

Wisbech town council held its annual meeting and mayor making via Zoom tonight and it was streamed on YouTube. Cllr Aigars Balsevics, who earlier had been to the council chamber to be robed, was elected mayor His partner Veronika is pictured with him,Wisbech town council held its annual meeting and mayor making via Zoom tonight and it was streamed on YouTube. Cllr Aigars Balsevics, who earlier had been to the council chamber to be robed, was elected mayor His partner Veronika is pictured with him,

If local people can find employment within Wisbech, not having to commute to other areas for employment reduces travel pollution and associated costs such as buying lunch elsewhere.

Local employers will undoubtedly mean local faces, and it must be very comforting to see a familiar friendly face when doing your shopping or receiving your delivery.

My advice to Wisbech residents and businesses alike is to think before buying: “Can I keep it local?”

#KeepItLocal #ShopLocal

• Wisbech Town Council is organising ‘Countdown to Christmas’ December markets this year. They will take place the weekend of Saturday December 12 and Sunday December 13 and then daily between Saturday December 19 and Thursday December 24 inclusive. For more information about stalls, contact Wisbech Town Council directly on 01945 461333 or email info@wisbechtowncouncil.gov.uk.


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