Brian, co-owner of Black Gull Books in East Finchley
Barnet’s residents are being urged to ‘shop local and shop safely’ in a campaign from Barnet Council to support businesses in the borough’s high streets and town centres when they reopen from 12 April.
The Discover Barnet campaign will run into the summer, encouraging residents to support local business owners to ensure Barnet’s high streets are able to overcome the damage the past year has done, and give them the support they need for a positive and thriving future.
With non-essential shops forced to close repeatedly during lockdowns and a boom in online shopping, the past year has brought change and disruption to Barnet’s local businesses. As they dust themselves off once more and prepare to welcome their customers back, safety will remain a top priority as everyone follows the government’s cautious lifting of the COVID-19 restrictions.
Cllr Caroline Stock, The Worshipful Mayor of Barnet, said: “After the year we have all endured, Barnet’s high streets will only flourish if the local community embraces them and helps nourish them back to the vibrant meeting places and hubs they once were.
“Safety is paramount to keeping our local shops and services open. We must all adhere to social distancing, wear face coverings indoors and follow the COVID-safe measures that Barnet’s businesses have worked so hard to put in place. With that, we can look forward to returning to a degree of normality, rekindling old connections and making new ones with the businesses and communities that are at the heart of our high streets.
“Our high streets have never before been under so much pressure. We can all do our bit to help. This spring we have a real opportunity to support and celebrate our local traders by exploring our local shops and returning to the much-loved businesses that we know so well and have greatly missed in recent months.”
The past 12 months have seen many business owners suffer serious consequences, and some businesses have sadly closed their doors for the last time. But following every period of hardship, there is one of hope. And with the support of local residents, Barnet’s high streets and town centres can bounce back.
With everyone making a conscious effort to Discover Barnet and shop locally at every opportunity, not only will Barnet’s local businesses thrive, but it is hoped that Barnet’s high streets may even have the opportunity to grow following this very difficult time.
Find out more about Discover Barnet and meet some of the people behind Barnet’s local businesses at www.engage.barnet.gov.uk/discoverbarnet.