High Streets across Babergh and Mid Suffolk could benefit from almost £19m of additional income over the next six months, if all adults spent an extra £5 by shopping local every week.
With just under 150,000 adults aged over 18 in Babergh and Mid Suffolk, an extra £5 spent could equate to over £730,000 per week being generated in local high streets and villages across the districts, equating to a whopping £18,980,000 over the next six months.
The figure was announced during Shop Local Week (10-16 August), part of the government’s Enjoy Summer Safely campaign, which aims to celebrate the importance of local and independent stores and the benefits they bring to the whole community and local economy.
Throughout lockdown, local shops and markets have played a crucial role in supporting the local community to buy food and supplies in a safe and easy way without having to travel too far. Many businesses have diversified their offer to make shopping for essentials simple and supporting those who needed to shield. New services like deliveries, online ordering and even additional market days have provided a lifeline for many local residents.
With many lockdown measures starting to ease, Shop Local Week aimed to encourage people to keep visiting to their local high street and not return to pre-COVID habits of out of town and online shopping.
Cllr Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk District Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economic growth said: “This year has been incredibly challenging for businesses on our high streets. I have been impressed to see how many businesses have risen to the challenges created by the coronavirus to support customers in their local community. It is staggering to see how an extra £5 spent in our local high street can provide a huge boost to the local economy.”
Cllr Michael Holt, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for economic growth said: “Our high streets are at the heart of our communities, and this was felt even more keenly during the Covid-19 lockdown. With many businesses still struggling to recover it is important that we show our support by continuing to shop locally in the coming months.”
Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils are working hard to support local businesses and will be launching an initiative to maintain the momentum of Shop Local Week in the coming weeks.