The Daily Mirror Shop For Britain campaign has been backed by thousands of businesses due to reopen in England today to urge the public to ‘spend to save livelihoods’ following the Covid-19 crisis.
Calls by the national paper are accompanied by a swathe of regional titles which have launched their own campaigns to help local businesses get back on their feet.
Independent high street shops to mega chains M&S and John Lewis are among business signing an open letter by the Daily Mirror urging people to spend to save high streets.
The letter is also backed by trade bodies such as the CBI and Institute of Directors, and tells shoppers: “Every penny you spend, every purchase you make, is a shop kept afloat and a job maintained.”
The campaign is supported by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who said: “I want to thank the Mirror for doing its bit to help British businesses get through these unprecedented times and urge all readers to back the Shop for Britain Campaign.
“Our high streets are at the heart of our communities and will be vital in helping to kickstart the economy as we recover from the virus.”
Stockpiles worth £15billion are hoped to be shifted by discounts to entice shoppers entering stores in England today.
Stores have been preparing for the reopening by providing till screens for shop workers, regular deep-cleaning and enforced 2m social distancing.
Shops in Northern Ireland re-opened on Friday, but no dates have been set in Wales and Scotland.
Meanwhile regional publisher Reach plc – which owns the Daily Mirror – has invigorated its #IAmOpen local campaign in line with the crucial opening day.
Titles across the country have urged readers to go out and spend, with Reach’s Cambridge News including a four-page pullout on how to help business owners get restarted successfully.
Reach’s #IAmOpen campaign was set up by news platform InYourArea to spotlight local businesses across the Reach digital network and inform communities that services are back in business.
Ed Walker, Editor in Chief, InYourArea.co.uk said, “The #IAmOpen campaign offers businesses the chance to shout about their reemergence after lockdown, and receive tools and support to help them in their recovery — for FREE; whilst also encouraging members of the community to shout about the businesses they love the most, or those that need help. We want the high street back, stronger than ever.”
Newsquest-owned publications The Northern Echo and Swindon Advertiser are among titles sporting the Love Local Business logo on front pages to urge readers to support their local retailers where possible.
And in Cumbria, independent businesses have been offered the chance of free listing in Newsquest’s open for business guide.
In the East of England, Archant titles have launched a Love Local campaign to support independent businesses.
Archant business editor Richard Porritt told Behind Local News: “We are now determined to continue telling stories about how our businesses are surviving — and soon I believe they will be thriving again.”
Elsewhere, JPIMedia titles have created a #SupportLocal video to accompany the campaign promoting independent businesses that has been running in its papers since the start of lockdown.
The message reveals the community role played by independents: a quarter of small firms donated goods to food banks, and another quarter have given vital support to key workers through volunteering and providing PPE.
The video can be viewed here.