All we want for Christmas is a quality independent high street

All we want for Christmas is a quality independent high street

Wigan Borough businesses are encouraging residents to ‘Spend, Support and Shop Local’ this Christmas.

A collaborative campaign between Wigan Council and small businesses in the borough will launch on Saturday 28 November, just in time for the festive shopping rush.

It focuses on how businesses have had to adapt their way of working throughout the pandemic and encourages residents to change their shopping habits to help safeguard the local economy.

Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux said: “Small businesses are at the heart of our communities and we all have a responsibility to help them thrive.

“Though 2020 has proven to be a difficult year for some, the pandemic has encouraged others to diversify and utilise digital resources, which has actually spurred their business on.

“This campaign is about celebrating those stories, as well as encouraging residents to shop local to make this tricky time a little easier for others.

“High streets have changed how they operate so we can stay at home. Now it’s time for us to do our bit and give back.”

Five local business are leading the roll out of the campaign and will act as ambassadors to encourage communities and businesses alike to get on board.

Sarah McCaig owns Olive Owl Flowers in Orrell. In recent weeks, she launched an Instagram page called ‘We Are Wigan’, dedicated to promoting small businesses in the area. She said: “If we don’t support skilled businesses, they will just die out and that’s something that really resonates with me and I feel like we need to protect that.

“I set up the social media platform ‘We Are Wigan’ after the second lockdown because I felt like the wind had been knocked out of my sails again. Businesses in the borough need a platform where people can easily find them, as well as a place where we can all support each other. The page has kind of exploded which I’m really thankful for, it grew that much that we now have a couple of local business owners running the page.”

The campaign is also being supported by Atherton business owner, Amy Bithell, who set up Little Pot Plants in July after being made redundant as a direct result of the pandemic.

She said: “Losing my job gave me the push to kick-start my dream. My spare bedroom is now a jungle of plants and I do a little happy dance on the other end of the phone when I get an order through.

“Shopping local helps to shape someone’s life and business as well as Wigan itself. But it’s not just about those who buy from us. Every ‘like’, ‘share’ and ‘comment’ on social media goes a really long way.”

The campaign will also support the council’s community wealth building values in 2021 by encouraging people to spend locally in different ways.

Community wealth building involves public sector and community organisations across the borough working closely together, using their resources to promote growth and create a local economy that works for every resident and borough-based businesses.

Coun Molyneux added: “Though the launch of this campaign will focus on independent retailers in the lead up to Christmas, we know that there are many ways to #SupportLocal.

“Community wealth building has been at the forefront of our priorities for some time, but it has taken on more significance as we look to recover from Covid-19.

“As this campaign evolves, we will also encourage residents, businesses and developers to spend local by using local suppliers and borough-based traders.

“It’s about putting control of our local economy in the hands of our communities, allowing them to shape a borough to be proud of.”

If you’re a local business offering goods online with contact free delivery or a click and collect service, be part of our Christmas guide by emailing pr@wigan.gov.uk with the name of your business, what goods you sell and your price range.

Posted on Wednesday 25th November 2020
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