Shop Amazing St Albans Online during third lockdown
- Credit: Matt Adams
“Stay Safe, Stay Home and Shop Amazing St Albans Online!” is the plea from the district's retailers, restaurants, pubs and market traders as we face the prospect of weeks under a third lockdown.
Now more than ever they ALL need YOUR help - and a partnership of St Albans BID (Business Improvement District), Save St Albans Pubs and the Herts Advertiser is calling on local residents to pledge their support for independent businesses during these challenging times.
We are urging people to continue buying online from local traders, whether it's a case of ordering food and drink, buying clothes or shopping for gifts, instead of spending their money with international online retailers, to secure the future of our much-loved indies.
Mandy McNeil, vice chair of the St Albans BID said: “Almost a year ago we were shouting about our inventive and resourceful independent retailers in St Albans. Now we are reminding our community that our local businesses have not disappeared, they are online for a while, in magical Virtual St Albans, which they are making just as vibrant and exciting as our High Street.
"We are so fortunate to have survived the first lockdown with huge local support but the chaos that followed with the closures and re-closures since summer has been catastrophic.
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"Businesses have spent tens of thousands of pounds on making venues and shops Covid-secure and most have taken out Government loans to get through the year - this is not sustainable.
"The loss of Christmas trade at such a crucial time has been the end for some local independent businesses, we want to save as many as we can.
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"What can you do to help? You can see if your local pub or restaurant is doing a takeaway service and many of them are. Please also remember that a lot of your local restaurants and pubs are now using app-based delivery services - these are hugely expensive to the restaurant with most charging the restaurant or pub 35 per cent for their service so always try the venue's website first or phone them direct.
"If you need a lovely pillow, blanket, a good book, flowers or a snuggly comfy pair of sweatpants, cupcakes, flowers or some fancy lockdown duds, or perhaps crafting supplies and a lovely journal to write your life story, our independent retailers and traders can help you out!"
Mandy added: “I urge St Albans residents - and indeed our virtual visitors - to check out https://www.enjoystalbans.com/offers/ for all the details about how you can still enjoy the city from your homes: ordering in food, drink, fashion and homeware; watching music and entertainment, cooking classes and how to buy a Stick One In voucher to support an independent business who needs your help."
Campaign group Save St Albans Pubs is fighting for our pubs to be able to sell click and deliver beer as off-licences during lockdown and there is petition from CAMRA on their behalf: https://camra.e-activist.com/page/73809/action/1
Save St Albans Pubs chairman Sean Hughes, landlord of The Boot and owner of Dylans, added: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and we know that you want us all here as much as we want to be there at the end of this very very challenging period."
The Herts Ad's #ShopLocal campaign, which initially focused on the run-up to Christmas, is being extended into the New Year, and independent businesses from across the district which have not featured so far are asked to contact the newsdesk on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are keen to offer a free platform for indies to shout about their unique offerings and explain how customers can support them locally, but we need them to get in touch as time and resources prevent us from reaching out to every single one direct.