A campaign has been launched to encourage residents to support their local high streets this Christmas, as part of the Welcome Back project.
Online sales have surged during the pandemic, but local campaigners are fighting back to encourage residents to support their town centres by buying Christmas presents locally this year. The consumer shift to online shopping is widely reported, however if residents made the switch back to town centres there’s many economic and environmental benefits to be gained.
The latest research (from Independent Retail Month) reveals that for every £1 spent with a local independent business, between 50p-70p circulates back into the local economy, that includes more employment in the area. By heading into town and supporting local businesses it also helps cut unnecessary mileage from delivery vans and goods being sourced from overseas, which all helps to reduce our carbon footprint.
Towns in North Herts will be holding a series of festive events, including light switch-ons, markets, Christmas fayres, pantos and carol concerts. The campaign will include a series of free ‘Love Your Herts High Street’ bag giveaways to encourage shoppers to reuse shopping bags whilst popping into town.
Cllr Elizabeth Dennis, North Herts Council Leader, said: “The pandemic has had a big effect on our town centres, but this Christmas it’s time to step back onto the High Street and support local businesses. By buying local you can pick up some really individual gifts, boost the local economy and help the environment.”
Cllr Sam Collins, North Herts Executive Member for Enterprise, the Arts, is also supporting the campaign. He said: “Last year we didn’t get the chance to enjoy a really festive Christmas, so make 2021 a merry Xmas – and enjoy the seasonal markets and events on offer too. We are giving away free limited edition tote bags so you please support the fantastic indie businesses we have across North Herts.”
More information - Welcome Back project