Support local shops, pubs and restaurants - they've never needed you more

The Cornhill in Ipswich during the third national lockdown

Get behind your independent shops - they really need you - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

It's an important day, the day the economic fightback from the Covid pandemic really gathers pace - and we can all play our part.

You will have heard many messages in the last year about the need to support local businesses. About how backing your independents keeps more money invested in the local community. 

That message should be at its loudest today.

It's been a torrid year for non-essential retailers and the hospitality industry. Today gives some hope. But make no mistake how much they need you.

We know these are hard economic times for many, but small changes to your lifestyle, making conscious decisions about where you spend every pound, can make a big difference.

So, today, as we relaunch our Shop Local campaign, we urge just a few simple things: 

Support your independent shops: Spend your money at our brilliant local independents where you can. More money spent there remains in the local community.

Support your pubs and restaurants: While today is a step forward for the hospitality industry, these are still desperately difficult times. They face limited numbers, outdoor trading only, and are at the mercy of the weather. Take a trip out, support them, follow the rules, wear warm clothing!

Support your local attractions: Don't forget the likes of zoos, farm parks and other local attractions. Plan a day out if you can.

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These businesses are the lifeblood of our communities. We have sadly lost many in the last year, and our communities will suffer if we lose more.

The consequences are grim if we don't get behind them. Every small gesture you can make will make a difference.

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This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

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