Sunderland BID backs Echo's shop local at Christmas campaign

As we urge people to shop local this Christmas, Sunderland BID has backed the initiative.

Friday, 13th November 2020, 7:00 am
Shoppers are being encouraged to use local shops

As part of our ongoing #ShopLocal campaign, we’re launching a #ClickLocal initiative asking people to keep money in the city by using local businesses where possible for their shopping both online and in store where possible, especially in the run up to Christmas, whether it’s buying gifts from an independent homewares company or buying your fruit and veg from your local high street.

Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations, Sunderland BID, said it may be a ‘different kind of Christmas this year, but by working together we can still create festive spirit and goodwill.’ Many of Sunderland city centre’s businesses remain open in Lockdown 2 for essential services and takeout.

She said: “We’re delighted that the Echo has launched a shop local campaign, which fits with all of our activity to encourage people to support businesses across the city.

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Sunderland Bid, Sharon Appleby

“It can really make a huge difference to the local economy if everyone makes a conscious decision to buy their Christmas gifts, food and essentials from our retailers and also consider all the experienced professional services expertise we have here.

“It may be a different kind of Christmas this year, but by working together we can still create festive spirit and goodwill.”

Throughout lockdown, we conducted a Big Conversation survey with readers in which 43% said they were supporting local businesses more since the pandemic began and 73.7% agreed with the statement: "The Christmas period will be a good opportunity to support local businesses."

While more people are shopping local, city centre trade has been hit by the pandemic. A whole section of our survey was dedicated to a shift in consumer confidence and shopping habits and, when asked, 45.1% of readers said they had visited their local town/city centre a lot less since shops were able to reopen, while 24.2% said they hadn't visited at all.

Watchmaker Harry Collinson Snr, has been trading in the city for forty years and is at the helm of Nomination and Collinson’s jewellers in Crowtree Road, as well as Pandora in The Bridges.

"We first opened in the city in 1981 and have traded through the pits closing and the shipyards closing, but I’ve never known anything like this,” said the business owner.

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