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Newsrooms urge readers to support local businesses under lockdown

Posted on: November 16, 2020 by Mariella Brown

Newsrooms across JPIMedia in England has stepped up their support for local businesses by encouraging readers to ‘click local’ when Christmas shopping.

Since the start of the pandemic the #supportlocal campaign has championed High Street shops, but the drive has now moved up a gear under England’s second national lockdown.

Under the new #supportlocal push, titles are promoting the trusted local retailers who will still be offering goods and services online, offer click-and-collect or are still able to trade.

The biggest news websites are carrying lists of these trusted stores — like this one on The News in Portsmouth — which will be updated each day.

Editor-in-chief Jeremy Clifford said: “The message to readers is although the shutters may be down on their bricks and mortar shops their online tills are still open. Rather than use the big, all-consuming e-commerce platforms we are encouraging readers to widen their searches further — it is too easy for people to complete their online shopping in one stop. If they do, our smaller local traders will miss out, despite offering a tantalising array of great ideas and local gifts. And these are the traders needing help from our readers.”

Meanwhile regional publisher Reach has begun an ‘Order local’ campaign via its hyperlocal news service.

InYourArea has called upon its users, including more than 1m email subscribers, to help restaurants, bars and pubs stay in business during lockdown by promoting their takeaway services.

“If you don’t want to lose your local, please use it — if you’re in a position to,” a message from editor Tom Gibbon said on the site, which aggregates news from around the UK at postcode level to give readers locally-relevant content.

News brands from Reach are also promoting a free listings service, provided by InYourArea, which gives details of local businesses providing takeaway. Listings are free on the platform.

The campaign is being backed by industry organisations including the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the British Takeaway Campaign.

Editor-in-chief of InYourArea.co.uk, Ed Walker, said: “For many the light in a dark month might be not having to cook for a night a week — having that time with family to sit down in front of the TV with fish and chips or a curry.

“And making that decision to spend locally can be a make or break difference for local independent businesses. I hope through Order Local we can show, as communities, how much we value these restaurants, craft ale bars, farm shops and wherever else is helping us keep well stocked, fed and watered during the coming weeks and months ahead.

“I will be placing an Order Local and I hope you will too.”

Credits: Behind Local News