𝗕𝗮𝗿𝗻𝘀𝗹𝗲𝘆’𝘀 𝘀𝗺𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗯𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗵𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 – 𝗹𝗲𝘁’𝘀 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲
𝐼𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑟𝑒𝑒-𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑢𝑡𝑒 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑑, 𝑤𝑒 𝑠ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑒 𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑎𝑠 𝑜𝑛 ℎ𝑜𝑤 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑐𝑎𝑛 ℎ𝑒𝑙𝑝 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑙𝑜𝑐𝑎𝑙 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑝𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑏𝑢𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑒𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑔ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑠𝑒 𝑑𝑖𝑓𝑓𝑖𝑐𝑢𝑙𝑡 𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒𝑠.
One of the most remarkable things about the Covid-19 crisis is the way communities in Barnsley have pulled together.
People have stepped up and supported their neighbours, the vulnerable and the NHS.
As we enter a new phase of this pandemic – let’s dare to call it post-lockdown (touch wood) – we mustn’t lose that sense of community spirit.
Yes, we may be weary, we may be yearning for a relaxing holiday in the sun, but the fight isn’t over yet – not by a long shot.
Along with stamping out the virus, we need to get our stalled economy moving again.
To do this, we need to redirect all the positive energy we’ve seen over the past few months towards helping our local economy.
𝐇𝐢𝐠𝐡 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐭 𝐛𝐥𝐮𝐞𝐬
Even before Covid-19 the UK’s 7,000 high streets were suffering. High rents and competition from online retailers and out-of-town megastores meant many shops and pubs were closing their doors.
At the start of 2020, there were 50,000 fewer high street shops than there were a decade ago.
As retail guru, Mary Portas put it: “We’ve sacrificed community for convenience.”
Well now is the time to start to fix that by supporting family-run and independent businesses in Barnsley.
𝗗𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀
While local shops, bars and pubs are a vital part of the community, the local economy is much broader than that. Think about the solicitors, physiotherapists, beauty therapists and independent estate agents who also contribute to the local economy and employ people.
We need your support too.
𝗜𝘁’𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹
Recovery and regeneration won’t happen by itself. Do you want our shopping areas to be vibrant and welcoming? Or riddled with yobs and boarded up shops?
If we want our local businesses to thrive, we must all start using them more.
𝗛𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝘀𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀 𝘄𝗲 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗽 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗹𝗼𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗼𝗺𝘆
– 𝗣𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗷𝘂𝗺𝗽 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲. Often our initial reaction, when we need something, is to turn to Google or ask Alexa. But what if your first reaction was to think locally? Before you make that online order, why not take a walk up to the shops and see if you can purchase it then and there. No waiting.
– 𝗜𝗳 𝗮 𝗹𝗼𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗽, 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗼𝗻, 𝗼𝗿 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂, 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗶𝘁. Tell your friends and neighbours and mention it on Facebook or digital community platforms such as Nextdoor. Word of mouth recommendations are incredibly powerful.
– 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗰𝗶𝗹. 𝗜𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗵𝗶𝗴𝗵 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗲𝘁, 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗽𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗮 𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗲 𝗳𝗲𝗲𝗹𝘀 𝗱𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗮𝘁 𝗵𝗲𝗲𝗹, 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴. Ask your local councillors what they’re doing to help the local area. Point out that in some places, such as Rotherham in Yorkshire and Deptford in London, work has been taking place for years to encourage regeneration. If your council isn’t being proactive, speak up and put positive pressure on them.
Remember, miracles don’t happen overnight. Change takes time and requires commitment.
The next few months will be challenging for us all.
But it’s worth remembering the words of Manchester United’s young star and social justice campaigner Marcus Rashford when he said: “Look at what we can do when we come together.”
At NestledIn we’re proud to be part of the Barnsley community and supporters of local businesses.