Council launches Christmas campaign to support Sheffield’s high streets

Cllr Andy Bainbridge with Brad Smith, owner of Greek Wraps in Chapeltown.

Council launches Christmas campaign to support Sheffield’s high streets

After a dire year for high street businesses, Sheffield City Council has this week launched Its Make Yourself at Home for Christmas campaign giving people ideas on how to support Sheffield businesses this festive season.

The phrase ‘use it or lose it’ has never been more important as businesses prepare for the crunch period in the run up to Christmas. The ripple effect of just one property closure can be far reaching as local businesses are not just employers, but also customers of other local businesses. Recent research shows that for every £1 spent with local businesses, around 50p remains in the local economy; spend that same £1 with online giants or major chains, and only around 5p filters back.

Make Yourself at Home at Christmas seeks to share all the fantastic local produce, bespoke items and experiences from Sheffield’s creative businesses on one online resource, with ideas and experiences being added regularly.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment at Sheffield City Council said: “This is the most important Christmas campaign the city has ever embarked on. Independent businesses are the heart of our communities.

“A huge part of Sheffield’s character and charm is the amazing local businesses we have on our high streets, and it’s more important than ever that we support local retail and those restaurants and bars, although forced to close due to Tier 3 restrictions, that have prepared some fantastic experiences and gift ideas to bring some Sheffield Christmas cheer into people’s homes.”

Councillor Andy Bainbridge, Ward Member for East Ecclesfield, said: “As we move into Tier 3 and shops can reopen, this is a fantastic opportunity for people to get their gifts from their local high street and make a difference to businesses who have really struggled this year.

“Our retailers have worked hard to make their businesses Covid-secure, so please remember to stay safe while shopping by respecting social distancing, wearing a face covering and regularly cleaning your hands.”

Cllr Bainbridge has visited businesses in his ward to see what messages they’d like to share in the run up to the festive season.

Brad Smith, owner of Greek Wraps, said: “The majority of our customers tend to be from the local area and we’ve really felt the community pull together this year to support us and other businesses.

“It’s great that restrictions are easing and more things are opening up, but I’d like to encourage everyone to remember what’s on your doorstep as life gets back to normal. We all look out for each other here and I’d like to thank our customers for supporting us. We’re still here, so please do carry on visiting us.”

Paul Carter, Service Manager at Carters Chapeltown, said: “We have a really loyal customer base, and even had one customer who bought every car with us all of his life. We’ve been in Chapeltown for 50 years and we’re as busy as ever, supporting key workers and now our regular customers too. 

“We’ve built up trust with people and they know us. We’ve had to adapt through the pandemic, and we’ve put changes in place to make sure everyone is safe when visiting us, as all small businesses have had to do. Please carry on supporting us, it’s appreciated.”

Sheffield City Council have also announced an extension to free parking across the city in the run up to Christmas, which will be available Saturdays and Sundays in December up until Christmas in Council pay and display car parks and on-street parking.
Ashley Birch
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