Digital high street gives Leighton Buzzard shopkeepers a far better chance of survival as new website is launched
A new website has been launched to enable Leighton Buzzard town centre businesses to promote their products and encourage residents to shop locally at a time when support is badly needed due to the pandemic.
2020 will certainly be a year that we all want to forget and undoubtedly will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. With another lockdown due to end on December 2, LB First has been busy working behind the scenes to set up a new online platform to give a vital boost to traders in these toughest of times.
Group chairman Gennaro Borrelli explained: “Whilst being a very difficult year for so many people in so many ways it was great to see how well everyone adapted to all of the changes in our town including local businesses and market who invested money after the first lockdown to implement Covid-19 safety measures in order to keep their businesses open whist keeping customers safe.
“Once again the strong community spirit of local residents came shining through with the determination to shop locally and help sustain our town’s small businesses rather than let the coronavirus shape the future of our town centre.
“And so with the second lockdown it was clear that in order to make it easier for many local residents and our wonderful customers, with the help of Leighton-Linslade Town Council, we launched a new website www.shoplocallb.co.uk where you will find a fantastic selection of many small, independent businesses offering a unique, bespoke and wide variety of products and services making it easier to browse and shop but also find out what’s happening in town.
“There are links to the town council’s website, market website and local business directory, you’ll discover so much more about our town and its many businesses so remember ‘Show your love for local independent shops who do so much more with service and smiles’.”
Cllr Amanda Dodwell, Chair of the Cultural and Economic Services Committee said: “Local shops give a local and often a more personal service and that’s why people come back. This is worth hanging on to.
“A digitally enabled High Street brings greater functionality for everyone and we hope a greater chance of survival in these very testing times, and for the future.”
For the town council, it was an important factor when considering LB First’s approach for start-up support, that this new platform is owned and managed by local businesses as they know best about what they need to support their businesses to survive and flourish.
They say local businesses working collaboratively and taking the lead shows to residents that they really do want to be here for customers. How quickly the new platform could be set up and functional was also important to the council. LB First were confident they could be ready for the Christmas season, and so it has proven.
A council spokesperson added: “This platform serves many purposes. Primarily it gives that very practical platform for businesses and customers to continue their interaction regardless of lockdowns, time of day or where you are in the world.
“Being online means that Leighton Buzzard town centre can reach beyond Leighton Buzzard even more so than ever before - spreading the word about our great local offer.
“Providing a one-stop shop platform makes it all the easier to see what businesses are in the town.
“For some businesses, it will give them their first digital platform so enhance their ability to keep hold of and gain customers and they have their peers around them to help and advice.
“We recommend residents keep their eye on things and if they can’t see their favourite business on there, call them and ask why they aren’t!”
More businesses are being added all the time to the website. If you want to be added get in touch with LB First on 01525 854273 or the town council on 01525 631920.
> Have you been doing most of your shopping online? How much do you think the new town centre website will help traders? Email views to [email protected]