Traders have given the ‘thumbs up’ to the new ‘I love local’ campaign, which is encouraging people back to local shops while reminding them about steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Flags, signs and banners went up in shops all over Widcombe at the launch of the campaign on Friday.
Milsom Street, Chelsea Road and Keynsham are keen to launch their own ‘I love’ campaign, and work is also underway for it to launch in Bear Flat.
‘I love local’ has been devised by Bath & North East Somerset Council together with partners Visit Bath, Bath BID and Invest in Bath to support retail businesses and promote the message that it’s safe to go back to our high streets.
It reinforces public health messaging around social distancing and hand hygiene at the same time as encouraging people to shop locally by championing local shops and businesses.
Councillor Dine Romero, council leader, said: “Huge thanks to all the traders who got behind the ‘I love local campaign’ and helped launch it in Widcombe.
“Every one of us has a local corner shop, local baker, charity or coffee shop that we need to support. This is such a positive way to champion the independent businesses in our city and local centres which have all been affected by the lockdown.
“We have already had other local centres want to take part and champion their own high streets so we hope this will spread across Bath and North East Somerset.
“At the same time as encouraging shopping locally it is important to continue to underline that we should all continue to be sensible, to social distance, wear a mask when required, and to sanitise hands as we explore what our high streets have to offer.”
Campaign tools are being made available to all our High Streets, market towns and city centre shopping areas across Bath and North East Somerset.
Flags will go up at each #ilovelocal location and items including facemasks and tote bags bearing the area’s branding will be available for people to buy.
A local ‘pod’ team will be formed in each #ilovelocal area to co-ordinate local traders and encourage the community to get involved.
They’ll be able to access support and promotion tools by visiting the I Love Local webpage.
Simon Brown, from Flamingo Card Art and Gift Shop in Widcombe, said: “This is a great campaign and it has been well executed. It promotes an area we really love and in all is a very good idea.”
The campaign is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Reopening the High Streets Safely Fund.
The project is receiving up to £172,615 of funding from the fund, as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for the European Regional Development Fund.
Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local communities.