Residents urged to Love Local this Christmas

Rother residents are being encouraged to Love Local this Christmas and support businesses on their doorstep.

Rother District Council has, again this year, launched its campaign to support local businesses in the lead up to Christmas.

Residents are being urged to shop and eat locally during the festive period in support of businesses finding it increasingly more difficult to make ends meet.

Cllr Christine Bayliss, Rother District Council’s portfolio holder for economic development and regeneration, said: “Our small, local businesses have had a rough ride over the past few years, having to fight back from Covid restrictions and a change in shopping habits.

“They need support now, more than ever, as the cost of living crisis continues to bite and energy bills soar.  I would urge residents to consider shopping local and support businesses that rely on them to survive.

“We also know that times are tough for our residents – but they can save money by shopping locally – reducing the need to use cars and other transport to shop further afield. This will also lower carbon and help the environment.”

Kaela Mills, owner of Bexhill-based Sprout Organic – which sells organic clothing for children and adults, says support is vital to help business survive.

“The cost of living crisis is having a huge impact and that is definitely the biggest challenge for high street businesses. It is not only having an impact on shoppers, but on businesses too. 

“The Covid pandemic drove people to shop online and it is a shame that that seems to have continued, shoppers have not returned to the high street in the same way. 

“I would encourage people to shop more thoughtfully this Christmas and make more meaningful purchases, which doesn’t mean having to spend more money! Handmade or independently sourced gifts are a wonderful option and help to support your local small businesses.” 

The cost of living crisis is also hitting businesses in Rye, many of which are local independent shops and restaurants.

Jane Brook, owner of The Brewery Yard Club and chair of the Rye Chamber of Commerce, said a change in people’s shopping habits due to the pandemic has continued and is having an impact on local businesses, at a time they are facing soaring energy bills.

“Businesses in Rye are facing the same challenges as those elsewhere. The positive is that businesses are coming together for Christmas in Rye,” she said.  “We are stronger together and are working in collaboration to encourage people to visit Rye this Christmas.”

Businesses in Rye will open late on Friday, December 2 for the annual festive late night shopping event, followed by a day of festive fund on Saturday, December 3.

Encouraging people to visit the town over the festive period, Jane added: “You can get everything you need for Christmas from Rye and support local independent businesses.”

Full details about the Rye Christmas Festival can be found at www.ryechristmasfestival.co.uk

The festival will coincide with Small Business Saturday, a national campaign to encourage people to support local businesses in their community.

Battle Christmas Gala Late Night Shopping will take place on Thursday, December 8 between 6pm and 9pm.

Bexhill Christmas Late Night Opening takes place on Friday, December 2 between 5pm and 8pm.

Rother District Council will, again this year, waive its town centre off-street pay and display car parks on set days during the festive season.  Full details will be available at www.rother.gov.uk/transport-roads-and-parking/car-parks/

Ends.

Published: 23rd November 2022