Coronavirus and shopping in your local town

The pandemic has had a huge impact on shops, pubs and restaurants, but North Herts District Council is hitting back with a new campaign funded by the Reopening the High Streets Safely Fund.

Shop Safe, Shop Local encourages residents to make a pledge to support local businesses by shopping online during lockdown.

During the pandemic towns across the region from Hitchin to Royston have worked tirelessly to offer shoppers an online experience. Many retailers now offer online shopping; whilst many cafes and restaurants are offering takeaways.

Shop Safe, Shop Local

Shop Safe, Shop Local is asking shoppers to switch from online shopping with industry giants to supporting local businesses wherever they can.

Cllr Keith Hoskins, North Herts District Council’s Executive Member for Enterprise and Co-operative Development, North Herts District Council, explains. “Every year we make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, get fit etc, but in 2021 it’s vital we also support our own communities. By buying your meat from a local butcher or ordering a takeaway from a local café or restaurant, you will provide much-needed support to your local community.”

“We all love our High Streets, but we all need to do our bit to support local businesses. It’s simple, we have to buy from local retailers and order takeaway services otherwise we lose them! I would urge residents to support local businesses during the pandemic by purchasing local goods and services online.”  

How to shop safely

  1. Make a pledge to support local businesses throughout 2021.
  2. Shop online from your local High Street retailer wherever possible during lockdown.
  3. Give yourself a treat and order a takeaway.
  4. When shopping for essential goods and services abide by the physical distancing signage – remember to keep two metres.
  5. In-store wear a face covering at all times.
  6. Wash your hands and use hand sanitisers if shopping for essential goods.
  7. Handle as few things as possible, only pick-up what you want to buy.
  8. When you’re making a purchase use a card and don’t forget to bring your own bag.
  9. Avoid crowds and if there’s a queue, call back later.
  10. Remember if you have any Covid-19 symptoms you must self-isolate.

Towns in North Herts


An attractive, historic market town. With a high street packed with independent boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, homeware, jewellers and florists, to high-end fashion, ethical businesses and markets, Hitchin caters to your every need.

For more information visit


The first garden city in the world, with beautiful tree-lined streets and first-class amenities. Letchworth Garden City has a fine mix of independent stores, national chains and top eating places, all within an elegant pedestrian-friendly town centre. 

For more information visit:


Baldock town centre has a strong local identity with its wide high street and many attractive historic buildings within a small area, making it a unique gem of an historic market town. It offers a mix of independent specialist retailers, business and leisure activities.

For more information visit:


A real community spirit and a wealth of amenities make Royston an increasingly popular town. Good shops, a twice-weekly charter market, a state-of-the-art leisure centre, wonderful museum, art gallery, the award-winning Priory Gardens, and Therfield Heath is the perfect place for a stroll.

For more information visit: or

About the project

The RHSS NHDC project is receiving up to £118,251 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

For more information visit

EU European Regional Development Fund, HM Government, NHDC logo