Residents urged to ‘shop local’ during lockdown

RESIDENTS in Rother are being asked to keep supporting local businesses during the second lockdown and shop local, either online or by using click and collect services.

Following the announcement of a second national lockdown all non-essential shops are currently closed until at least December 2, but that does not mean Christmas shopping is cancelled. People can still shop with local retailers via their websites or click and collect service.

One business offering an extensive online sales option is Sprout Organic in Bexhill, which sells organic clothing for children and adults.

Owner Kaela Mills said: “Although a second lockdown feels very intimidating for small shops such as myself, by now we have all learned to adapt, and feel more prepared with alternative ways to run our businesses and continue to trade this time round. During the next month, local customers can buy my products online, either to collect from the shop or have them delivered. 

“There has been an outpouring of support for small and independent businesses since the pandemic began, as people have recognised how hard we have been hit. We are all so grateful for this, and it’s the reason many of us have survived when we didn’t initially think we would.”

Wards, a family-run business selling gifts and clothing, is offering a selection of mens and womenswear online, as well as takeaway treats through Wards Kitchen.

Neil Archer from the Wards Group said: “Wards has been in Devonshire Road since 1938 but the lockdowns are quite a challenge! We are keeping going by taking telephone and website orders, with delivery or collections from the shop available.  On Friday and Saturday mornings we are also baking and selling our scones, rock cakes and other takeaway food.

“We would like to thank the local community for their support over the last few months and again now during the second lockdown.”

WiDEYE is an independent skin and bodycare store based in Rye. Owner Lawrence Bull said: “Being perfect for gifting, our busiest time of year is the autumn/winter months before Christmas and the two separate lockdowns this year have severely impacted our business.

“We’ve adapted to the changing times by setting up live chat and telephone personal shopping and skincare consultation appointments. We sell all of our products online and are also offering a delivery service to those local to Rye who would normally pop to our store on the high street.”

DickieBird Homestore in Battle are offering click and collect to their local customers, as well as a personal delivery service in the local area. Owner Tamsin Dickie said: ““Since the first lockdown it has really felt like the High Street has been enjoying a revival, with people feeling safer and more comfortable shopping locally knowing that their money is going directly to support their immediate environment, and it is still possible to maintain this during lockdown 2.

“Although the latest government restrictions have come at the very worst time for small, independent businesses, many of whom had just placed and paid for large pre-Christmas orders, most High Street retailers are able to continue to trade via online orders or click and collect. Please keep supporting your local shops because it will make such a huge difference to our livelihoods now and in the coming months.”

The next few weeks are traditionally one of busiest times of the year for retailers. By supporting the high street and buying local during lockdown, residents can actively help their community and local economy.

Cllr Christine Bayliss, Cabinet spokesperson for Regeneration and Chairman of the Bexhill Town Centre Steering Group, said: “It is vital that we support our local high street businesses during the second lockdown.

“Local businesses have worked so hard over the last few months and they deserve our continued support during these difficult times.

“I urge residents to check if local retailers have an online shop, or if they are offering a click and collect service. We can keep supporting our local high streets even if we can’t shop in person at the moment.”

When collecting items people are reminded to wear a face covering, follow social distancing guidelines, and sanitise their hands before and after entering the premises. Details of local businesses offering takeaway services can be found online.

Published: 16th November 2020