People in Rother are being urged to support their local independent businesses by shopping and eating locally as lockdown restrictions ease.
Retailers, restaurateurs and business owners across the district, feeling the strain from national lockdowns and restrictions, are calling on residents and visitors to support them as they welcome back shoppers and diners.
In support, Rother District Council has been working with town and parish councils and the local Chambers of Commerce to create the We Are Local campaign, aimed at encouraging residents to ‘shop local, eat local, support local’.
Malcolm Johnston, Chief Executive at Rother District Council, said: “Our local shops and high streets have faced an extremely challenging year and need the support of residents and visitors to help them recover. We hope this campaign helps to highlight all that our high streets have to offer.”
Colin Cleaver from aFic in Bexhill-on-Sea, a clothing boutique that specialises in utility basics and lifestyle accessories for men and women, said: “We are delighted to be throwing open our doors again and welcoming shoppers back to our store.
“The last year has been extremely challenging for independent retailers like ourselves but the support we have received locally has really made a difference. We would encourage people to visit their high streets in the coming weeks and support local businesses so independent retailers can continue to thrive.”
Kate Parker, owner of Battle Deli and Bonney’s, says she is looking forward to Battle High Street “coming back to life”.
“Having been closed for so long it is essential for these small independent shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants to receive the full support of our local customers and visitors as they’re allowed back into town,” she said.
“Battle has so much to offer everyone from the beautiful Battle Abbey to our vibrant, bustling High Street with new shops opening up this spring as well, so please – Shop Local, Eat Local, Keep it Local”
Lawrence Bull, owner of ethical health and beauty store WiDEYE in Rye, said: “All of us at WiDEYE are beyond excited to have opened our shop doors again. Welcoming you all inside and getting back to normal has been long awaited.
“For small businesses like ourselves, local support really does go a long way. Lockdown a third time round has been a tough time for many small, local businesses who were struggling from the last one.
“If you are able to, we’d really encourage you to pop in and say hello at your local stores, the support makes all the difference!”
When shopping, dining or collecting items people are reminded to wear a face-coverings, follow social distancing guidelines, and sanitise their hands before and after entering premises.
Under new regulations everyone visiting a restaurant, café or bar must check in on arrival, either via the NHS COVID-19 app using the QR code displayed by the business, or by providing their name and contact details to the venue.
Hospitality venues are allowed to erect tents or gazebos for outdoor dining, but these must be less than 50 per cent enclosed.
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