Shop Local: Saffron Walden community leaders support the campaign

PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:07 23 October 2020

Archive from June 2020: Hand sanitiser stations placed in the town by Saffron Walden BID, and a Recovery Pack for businesses. Pictured are Jo from Croucher & Needham, Essex County Councillor John Moran, David Woodhouse from Chaps Barbers, Kathryn Horgan Waitrose manager and BID Director, Julie Redfern of Beauty Box and Deputy Chair SWBID. Picture: Gary Hyams

Archive from June 2020: Hand sanitiser stations placed in the town by Saffron Walden BID, and a Recovery Pack for businesses. Pictured are Jo from Croucher & Needham, Essex County Councillor John Moran, David Woodhouse from Chaps Barbers, Kathryn Horgan Waitrose manager and BID Director, Julie Redfern of Beauty Box and Deputy Chair SWBID. Picture: Gary Hyams

Gary Hyams

Community leaders and the town’s business organisation have thrown their weight behind our new Shop Local campaign.

Councillor Heather Asker, mayor of Saffron Walden Town Council. Picture: 
Celia BartlettCouncillor Heather Asker, mayor of Saffron Walden Town Council. Picture: Celia Bartlett

And they have unveiled new measures are coming in to support both shoppers and businesses.

Saffron Walden Business Improvement District has installed hand sanitiser stations for everyone to use in town and 10 more will be added from next week.

Louise Scutt-Richter, BID development project manager, said: “Saffron Walden is a vibrant town. To keep it so needs all of us to continue to shop local.”

Louise said that BID urges shoppers to look to the local shops and businesses.

R4U Councillor John Lodge, leader at Uttlesford District Council. Photo: R4U.R4U Councillor John Lodge, leader at Uttlesford District Council. Photo: R4U.

Shops, cafés, restaurants, pubs, hairdressers and barbers have all put measures in place so that customers and staff are safe and feel safe.

These include screens at the till, readily available hand sanitiser, the wearing of face coverings, limiting the number of people in their premises, safe queuing, encouraging contactless payment and QR codes where relevant.

Louise added: “When thinking about Christmas this year we urge you to shop locally and safely in Saffron Walden.

“Here you will find quirky, one-of-a-kind gifts, decorations, treats and pretty much all you’ll need to celebrate the festive season!

“So let’s follow the rules, protect those that need to be and support each other through these challenges.”

Uttlesford District Council leader John Lodge said: “Covid on top of changing shopping habits has really hurt our local businesses.

“It has been heartening to see many businesses that can quicky adapt do so over the last six months, but many are hanging on by a shoestring.

“It is vital that we all support them and shop local.”

Cllr Lodge said UDC has implemented business grants, loans and rate relief.

“However, we know it is not enough. We will continue to push government for more support for our business during Covid, and we intend to fund our own business recovery programmes.”

Cllr Lodge said they have generated new income, not dependent on council taxes, and they are working on how to use part of that to support local businesses.

“We plan to introduce a first local business programme soon. In the meantime please continue to support our High Streets,” he said.

Saffron Walden Town Council mayor Heather Asker said almost every shopping need could be answered in the town.

“I am one of the biggest stalwarts when it comes to Shop Local.”

Cllr Asker said that local retailers were helpful, and if something wasn’t in stock, they would get it for you.

“The impracticality of an online shop is that when it arrives, if it’s faulty or it does not fit you have to pack it up and have to send it back.

“Why not support the high street.

“For example, a shirt - if it fits, you buy it and take it home. You have answered your own buying concern, and how much nicer to have a conversation with someone as well.”

She added: “We have a very ecclectic mix of independent retailers, whether it is food, non food, restaurants, coffee shops, clothes, butchers, where do I stop?”

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