From butchers to Christmas dinner in a sandwich - the YEP celebrates high street heroes that have kept Leeds communities going through lockdown

Shoppers need local businesses as much as they need our custom during a third long lockdown, says an Ilkley based branding and marketing agency.

Tuesday, 12th January 2021, 6:00 am

Last November as a second national lockdown was introduced, Clive Allen of Westbrook Agency, which specialises in branding, graphic design, websites, and social media, came up with the idea of a website to promote the businesses in Ilkley that were still trading and supplying and supporting the community.

Within a week, more than 75 businesses had put their name to it. These and many other 'high street heroes' around Leeds have kept communities going through difficult times.

Ever since the coronavirus outbreak first swept the country back in March, the Yorkshire Evening Post has campaigned to promote local shops and independent traders and now, as we enter the second week of a third national lockdown that is set to last for several more weeks, we want to hear about your high street heroes.

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The centre in Ilkley.

Which shops have kept locals supplied with essentials, gone the extra mile to help vulnerable members of the community, diversified their business to keep customers - or simply just put a smile on your face with some good humour in difficult circumstances?

We want to hear about your business, or if you want to shout about a business, then get in touch and the Yorkshire Evening Post will shine a spotlight on those companies.

Clive Allen, Westbrook Agency: "It is a difficult one, you have to try and balance local business and safety whilst the government is saying everyone should treat it as if we have COVID, customers will find it hard.

"J B Wilkinson and Sons butchers has been one of the best. It stayed open throughout but so careful about how they do things and were doing delivery boxes. They were very quick to adapt, very sharp but sharp on the rules and regulations. The coffee shop at the station stayed open doing takeaway coffee and have such fantastic customer service. The people that run it are amazing. People feel okay about walking their dog and grabbing a coffee.

"They are giving people that sense of normality. Likewise at the butchers and places where you go and get a bit of banter, you feel normal instead of like a walking disease. People are glad to see you and have business and that is where high street businesses are making the difference as opposed to supermarkets.

"A deli opened at the beginning of lockdown and they do some fantastic stuff. They were doing Christmas dinner sandwiches and it made people feel good and that is what people are missing. As much as the sales are important, that kind of mental stimulation, recognition and uplift is equally as important."

If you want to nominate a high street hero to feature in the Yorkshire Evening Post, email [email protected]

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