Since the outbreak of Covid-19, our business community has had to create innovative ways to survive. Some have gone bust. But some have changed their ways of trading to assist the community they serve who, through vulnerability or fear, have stopped venturing to the shops. Now the Keep It Local message is even more important.
The outdoor markets were first to reopen, where food and essentials could be purchased in fresh air. Then came the cafés, restaurants and food retailers who started delivering takeaways and then home deliveries to residents, ensuring those unable to venture out were not forgotten or hindered by having their daily produce available.
As shops and markets have gradually reopened, some have continued with this home delivery trend after seeing record numbers of orders, thus confirming the business model as viable. A number have actually expanded their offering.
The importance of keeping it local is critical during this pandemic and beyond. Footfall to the marketplace increases potential footfall to businesses, shops, restaurants and cafés.
In Wisbech, transport to other areas for employment purposes is subject to the right bus route being available, or cycle networks. This limits the areas that are reasonably reachable on a daily basis.
If local people can find employment within Wisbech, not having to commute to other areas for employment, this reduces travel pollution and associated costs such as buying lunch elsewhere.
Local employers will undoubtedly mean local faces. It must be very comforting to see a familiar friendly face when doing your shopping or receiving your delivery.
My advice to Wisbech residents and businesses alike is to think before buying… Can I Keep it Local?
WORDS Mayor of Wisbech, Councillor Aigars Balsevics