Cheshire East Council is encouraging residents to say ‘hi’ to the high street again.
In the latest stage of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, all non-essential retail was allowed to reopen from April 12, as well as restaurants, bars and cafes for outdoor table service only and hair and nail salons, libraries, and gyms.
While businesses start to welcome back customers, the council has launched a new campaign – funded by the European Regional Development Fund – called “Say ‘hi’ to the High Street”, to encourage residents to support local and shop safely.
As well as informing people of the Covid-19 measures in place to protect them and the precautions they need to take to help the safe reopening of Cheshire East’s town centres, it also reminds them of the borough’s fantastic array of local businesses and the personal touch they offer.
Frank Jordan, Cheshire East Council’s executive director for place, said: “It is fantastic news that our town centres have begun to open up again, after what has been an extremely challenging year for businesses, but it is important that this is done in a safe way, given the ongoing pandemic.
“Businesses have been working extremely hard to prepare for their reopening, to ensure they help stop the spread of the virus and are in line with the government’s Covid-secure measures.
“But residents also have a hugely important role to play; firstly by keeping themselves, loved ones and other members of the public safe by wearing a face covering where necessary – including in shops – making sure they sanitise their hands and maintaining social distancing.
“By doing this, they can also relieve some of the pressure facing local businesses by not putting them in the position of having to turn people away or face possible enforcement action.”
As part of the campaign and with the support of town councils, Cheshire East Council will be making posters available to local businesses that feature Covid-safe messages and will also be launching a series of videos on social media showcasing the borough’s 11 town centres.
There is also a dedicated webpage where residents and businesses can find more information about the safe reopening of our town centres and access support.
Mr Jordan said: “It’s time for people to say ‘hi’ to the high street and be welcomed back by the familiar faces of our local business owners.
“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we know that people have had to rely more heavily on online shopping for things such as gifts and clothes.
“But it is more important than ever that we now support local and help businesses to get back on their feet.
“Our town centres offer so much more than a simple transaction – shopping local offers a more personal experience that you cannot get online and there is no substitute for face to face interaction, which is something we have all missed during the pandemic.
“You can also be assured that by shopping local, you are playing an important role in boosting the local economy and supporting our local communities and the livelihoods of local people.
“Our independent retailers also provide opportunities to purchase something that you simply cannot find anywhere else and every purchase means so much to them.”