‘Shop, eat, support local’ this Christmas

PEOPLE in Rother are being urged to support their local independent businesses by shopping and eating locally over the Christmas period and into the New Year.

The council wants to help local businesses across the district as they recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and is asking people to ‘shop, eat, support local’ – either by visiting local retailers in a safe, Covid-secure way – or buying from local stores via their websites.

Cllr Christine Bayliss, portfolio holder for economic regeneration at Rother District Council, said: “We are asking our communities across Rother to do all they can to support their local shops over the festive period and beyond.

“We know that many residents already do this, and I would like to thank them for supporting their local businesses and ask them to continue to shop, eat, support local over the festive season and beyond.”

Business owners across the district have faced a challenging time over the course of the pandemic, and this Christmas many have thought up fun and creative ways to make a visit to the local high street even more appealing with high-quality local produce and exciting promotions.

Bentley’s Steakhouse in Bexhill are running an Advent Calendar Campaign with daily winners drawn from those who like their social media profile. 

In a great example of businesses working together, Bentley’s are offering prizes from local retailers and organisations helping to promote neighbouring businesses too.

Owner Memish Huseyin said: “Local businesses have been working closely together throughout the pandemic to support and guide each other through this challenging time, and by supporting their local shops and restaurants, people are directly helping their communities.

 “There are many wonderful, small businesses in Bexhill. Do visit your local high street over the festive season – who knows what hidden gems you may discover!”

Rob Green runs the London Road Butchers in Bexhill, and sources much of his produce locally. Rob said: “By buying from a traditional, family butchers like us, people are not only supporting our business but local farmers too. 

“The pandemic has been extremely challenging for independent retailers and we are very grateful for all the support we have received from our customers. Please do visit your high street and shop local this Christmas!” 

New business Silvery opened up on London Road at the beginning of October just in time to take advantage of the Christmas shopping season. Selling jewellery made from organic items coated in layers of pure silver, as well as a range of handcrafted festive gifts supplied by local makers from Bexhill and Hastings, Silvery offers unique gifts this Christmas.

Jules Ash, owner of Silvery, said: “Opening a shop in these difficult times felt like an enormous leap of faith but I have been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic support local residents have shown.

“The shop showcases the work of a variety of local artists and makers as well as the jewellery I make and people love to know that as well as getting something unusual which can’t be found anywhere else, they are supporting a small, local business every time they buy.

 “Do support your local high street this Christmas and beyond. When you shop with your local independent businesses, families will be paying their bills and keeping afloat – thank you so much for all your support.”

For those who prefer to shop remotely, the Rye Creative Centre have launched a new online Gallery Shop, https://ryecreativecentre.co.uk/, offering a wide selection of creative pieces for sale including photographs, paintings and textiles.

Hannah Jordan, Programme and Operations Manager at Rye Creative Centre, said: “On the back of the last two pandemic years it is particularly independent businesses, artist and freelance creatives which have borne the brunt of the Covid uncertainty and have had to fight extra hard.

“We are so fortunate in our area to be surrounded by so many brilliant local businesses, who are not only integral to the community but key to our wider tourism offer. This Christmas it feels particularly pertinent to shop local to show these businesses and creative organizations our support.

“Why not make a purchase of some beautiful locally produced artwork, or buy a ticket to a workshop or local event, all available via our website.”

Cllr Bayliss continued: “Our local shops and high streets offer a unique shopping experience, with a wide choice of products and great customer service – perfect for Christmas shopping – and they need our support now more than ever after an extremely difficult time.”

When shopping, dining or collecting items people are reminded to wear a face covering, follow social distancing guidelines, and sanitise their hands before and after entering the premises.

Published: 14th December 2021