Local businesses have joined forces with Chichester District Council to welcome shoppers back to the high streets in Chichester, Midhurst, Petworth, Selsey and East Wittering.
The council has released a video, which encourages residents and visitors to shop locally in its city and towns. Local businesses feature in the video, explaining the steps they have taken to keep shoppers safe. This is part of the council’s ‘Support Local’ campaign, which is being delivered in association with Chichester Observer and Midhurst and Petworth Observer.
The campaign aims to encourage residents across the Chichester District to shop local and is part of a wider package of support designed to help local businesses reopen in line with the government’s recovery plan.
“Now more than ever, it’s vital that we visit our high streets and support local businesses across our district,” says Cllr Martyn Bell, Cabinet Member for Growth, Place and Regeneration at Chichester District Council.
“This is why we have launched our Support Local campaign, which is in partnership with businesses, parish, town and city councils, and business associations and groups.
“Businesses across the district have been working hard to make sure that all the right measures are in place to keep shoppers and staff safe. This includes providing hand sanitiser, plastic screens at checkout areas, accepting contactless payments, social distancing signage and queueing systems, as well as regular and thorough cleaning.
“Thanks to these measures, shoppers across the district should feel reassured that they can shop safely and continue to support all the wonderful local businesses that our district has to offer.”
Julie Barker-Muzzell, Director at Munneries in East Wittering, says: “People shouldn’t feel nervous about visiting us, we have put in place every measure possible to ensure that our customers and staff are kept safe.
“While our core customers have changed since the lockdown, we are still very much focused on sourcing high quality produce. So, whether it’s potatoes, broccoli, salad or summer fruits, we buy locally wherever we can and we pride ourselves on our commitment to finding the best produce as well as providing first class, friendly customer service.”
Joshua Getting, store manager at R. L. Austen Jewellers, says: “We love being able to interact with people in person, and now that our showroom is open again, we very much look forward to welcoming new and existing clients to make their special memories and purchases with us in store.
“All of our staff are using personal protective equipment (PPE) and have been fully trained on all of the changes we have made to the way we operate. I am very proud to say they have done an exceptional job in keeping our staff and our customers safe.
“We have all been very impressed with the way stores have reopened in Chichester — they have all done so in a very safe and effective way. Anyone coming to Chichester to shop should have every confidence that they are able to do so safely, and we’re sure they will have an enjoyable visit.”
Andrew Chiverton, who runs the Crafty Pint in Midhurst, says: “We have put in place a lot of safety measures, and one of the most important things is ventilation, we have the back door and front door open to get a through-draught. Because the virus is supposed to live on glass and metal surfaces for a lot longer, we are also asking people to only pick up what they intend to buy and any bottles or cans that are put back are taken off the shelves for three days just to be sure.
“We want people to know we are still lovely and friendly and keen to offer the best of personal service and that shopping can still be a welcoming and safe experience.”
The video can be found by visiting: www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7YndIO-jzc
Chichester District Council is offering a package of support to local businesses from a variety of its teams. Its Economic Development, Health Protection, Planning, and Licensing teams are all providing support and assistance to local businesses. The council has also created dedicated web pages with both Government advice and local support. It is also working closely with partners across the district to deliver the second stage of a signage project, which will be personalised to each location. To find out more, please visit www.chichester.gov.uk/supportlocal