In welcoming the re-opening of our high streets it is important to highlight the need to do this in a safe way. Many of our local businesses and shops have struggled to survive and a huge thanks needs to go to those that have hung in there. Welcome back, and let’s all support local, says Central Hove Labour Councillor, Gary Wilkinson:

As many Brighton and Hove businesses open their doors for the first time in ages, the Labour Party wish everyone good luck.

In these most difficult of times, it is vital to not forget our local independent shops.

During the crisis, neighbourhood shops have proven to be a crucial part of our communities, both in Brighton and Hove and across the country.

They have responded to the problems and shortages caused by the lockdown brilliantly.

The coronavirus pandemic has been extremely damaging to the economy of Brighton and Hove, as it is more widely of course. In particular, it has caused hardship for many of our small businesses.

As a Brighton and Hove Labour Councillor, I want to support our local firms to thrive and be successful, ensuring that we strive towards an inclusive local economy that works for all.

Shopping at an independent store is a long-term investment in our local economy and as we head out of lockdown, I want to encourage residents to stick with supporting their home city by continuing to use Brighton and Hove’s amazing small businesses.

Spending locally builds community wealth as the money keeps circulating here, to the benefit of everyone.

Small businesses are the largest providers of jobs nationally and independent local retailers play a vital role in the local economy by creating local jobs.

Remember – a small decision every time you head to the shops can make a real difference to the entire neighbourhood.

As local shops are found within walking distance, rather than a drive away, more people shopping locally would also considerably reduce air pollution and traffic, something we have all now come to appreciate.

Local shops are the life and soul of our communities. They provide great customer service and local knowledge, unusual and original products and services – and attract people to the area – which all have a positive knock-on effect for everyone.

Popping to your local shop has now become the norm and never has it been more important.

Councillor Gary Wilkinson
Labour Councillor for Central Hove

Cllr Gary Wilkinson
Cllr Gary Wilkinson
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