Shop local to help our economy but stay safe urges Central Beds Council leader as lockdown restrictions ease

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"We now need to help local businesses to get back on their feet" says council leader

As the high streets and towns across Central Bedfordshire start to reopen, the Central Beds Council leader is calling on residents with a message to ‘shop local’.

Councillor Richard Wenham the Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “The lockdown has had a massive impact on the local economy. We now need to help local businesses to get back on their feet.

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“During the lockdown many of us turned to local providers who stepped into the breach to prevent shortages and to provide home deliveries. Many of them quickly adapted to providing an online or take-away service. This has given us a new insight into local businesses and how they can innovate to support us.

Central Beds Council leader Richard WenhamCentral Beds Council leader Richard Wenham
Central Beds Council leader Richard Wenham

“I think the lockdown has helped us to not take local business for granted. They have had to work against the odds to support and keep our community safe. Now, we need to show them that we will nurture them as they try to rebuild.

“I want to encourage everyone, wherever possible, to spend their hard-earned money with local businesses, whether that’s for food, items for the home or a much-needed and missed service such as having your hair cut.

"Without that support our independent local businesses may not come through this and that would be a bad thing for all of us, for our local economy and our jobs.”

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Cllr Wenham added: “Whether you are visiting a local beautician or shopping, there is absolutely no room for complacency.

"Every one of us must continue to play our part by taking personal responsibility to follow the new golden rules: Hands. Face. Space. Fresh Air, keeping up good habits such as washing your hands regularly, wearing a face covering and giving others space are even more important as we move into this next phase.

“The next few weeks will be critical in setting the direction of the ‘new normal’ and we can all play our part. It will be tough, but with vaccines offering a light at the end of the tunnel, we all need to continue doing the right thing for a while longer. We owe it to ourselves and to the NHS to keep going.

"Whatever your plans for enjoying the easing of lockdown, please shop local and stay safe.”