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July 4, 2020 7:51 PM

Liberal Democrat Councillors in South West Shropshire, Ruth Houghton, Heather and Nigel Hartin, have started an initiative to help boost local businesses as they try to recover from the impact of the lockdown.

Ruth Houghton said: " It has been a very fraught time for most of our small businesses. COVID-19 has struck our economy hard locally as well as nationally. As we come out of lockdown most face a tough few months as they try to get back on their feet.".

New Ideas

Nigel Hartin added: "Over the last few months we have been supporting businesses and the local community with regular e- bulletins featuring available grants and advice. We have also been encouraging local people to use local shops and businesses wherever possible"


"Now we want to expand the campaign and we have been very impressed by some of the initiatives undertaken elsewhere in the UK. In Eastbourne for example they have identified some excellent strategies to boost local businesses including:

l Creating an on-line platform for local businesses without their own web presence to sell their wares and help with delivery.

l A kitemark, the application for which is with Trading Standards, and which will help customers identify those businesses that have taken appropriate action to protect customers against Covid-19 .

l An on-line directory of local businesses.

Critical Point

Heather added: "We are now reaching a critical point for many local businesses. If we are to see them survive and thrive, we need to support our very local area but also need Shropshire Council to back us in our 'Buy Local' campaign".

" As a first step we will be raising this with the Board of Enterprise South West Shropshire. We hope to interest other bodies such as the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership in due course. "

Ruth added " local businesses have always supported local good causes and charities with raffle prizes and donations, many also diversified their offer during lockdown to support the local community with delivery, telephone order services and collection options. Now it is our turn to support them however we can as they emerge from lockdown and start to rebuild their business and livelihoods"