Leeds unite in call for shoppers to think local this Christmas as shops and bars look to recover from 2020 losses

The people of Leeds have united in calls for shoppers to go local as much as possible this Christmas as the city looks to recover following 2020 restrictions.

By Alex Grant
Friday, 3rd December 2021, 4:45 am

Calls come as the city's business sector looks to make up for the lost income of last year's lockdown celebrations.

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With the festive season fast approaching city chiefs and shop owners alike are calling for the public's help.

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With the festive season fast approaching city chiefs and shop owners alike are calling for the public's help. Picture: Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

In a statement provided to the YEP Coun Jonathan Pryor, Deputy Leader of Council and Executive Member for Economy, Culture and Education, expressed the importance of helping out the local economy.

"We have a wide range of fantastic local businesses across the city, and it is important that we support them where we can by shopping local." he said "The festive period is an important time for shops and hospitality across Leeds as they continue to bounce back from what has been a couple of tough years for the sector. As a council we will also continue to look to support small businesses and will continue our work to ensure we have thriving high streets for years to come.”

The restrictions brought on by coronavirus pandemic had a devastating impact on shop owners with hundreds of millions handed out in grants to keep shops afloat.

For many local shops they depend on the footfall of local shoppers.

"We depend on footfall," said Sam a local shop owner in Morley "We depend on people coming out and coming into the shops. People need to shop local because if the shops die then the town dies and if the town dies then house prices go down and I don't think people realise that."

During the first lockdown were hit hardest as they raced to make the move to online trading and home deliveries.

Speaking exclusively to YEP in October Coun James Lewis, leader of Leeds City Council, spoke of the important impact the public can have on the local economy.

"I ask that people shop local. They did it a lot during the pandemic and it's imperative that they do it now." he said "Whether it's a shop on the local high street or a stall on Leeds market, it really will make a difference in ensuring that we have a strong and diverse economy moving forwards."

Having made more than £300m in grants available to help local shop owners over the course of the pandemic, the city council is keen to not only support local recovery but to also welcome new entrepreneurs.

Its [email protected] scheme is designed to consider grant applications for organisations as well as provide training, mentoring and other forms of support for people aiming to develop their own innovative business proposals.

"People pulled together to support each other during the pandemic and as we look at coming out of it, it's more important than ever that people support, in particular, small and local businesses," Coun Lewis said.

"It's part of that great community spirit that we have here in Leeds.”

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