Calderdale councillor dips into his own pocket to set up campaign to support ward's businesses

A Calderdale councillor who has set up a campaign to encourage constituents to support their local shops for Christmas hopes it will continue into the future.

Monday, 14th December 2020, 10:20 am
Updated Monday, 14th December 2020, 10:26 am

George Robinson used his own money to start Community Customers in his Hipperholme and Lightcliffe ward, which was given a boost with support then given by some local companies which enabled not just an online and social media presence but a physical leaflet to cover as wide a range of people as possible.

Coun Robinson said he started thinking about starting the campaign early in November.

“I was contacted by local businesses about grant funding and I noticed there was a real push for Shop Local.

Coun George Robinson, left with Shaiyan Wirasat of Ramzy’s Pharmacy, which has donated hundreds of pounds worth of fragrances to be given out to local charities by Community Customers

“It seemed clear to me potential customers and residents wanted to shop locally and that it was helpful to start a one-stop shop for businesses,” he said.

The first step was Coun Robinson calling, contacting and door-knocking on businesses to let them know he was starting the campaign.

Locally-based Bluebird Care donated money to part-fund the design, print and website costs with Coun Robinson with a bonus also coming from Ramzy’s Pharmacy which has donated hundreds of pounds worth of fragrances to local charities, raising the project’s profile in the process.

With the advertising free to Hipperholme and Lightcliffe businesses, some have included discounts and vouchers that are exclusive to the Community Customers campaign, said Coun Robinson.

In all 32 businesses were featured in th 5,000 print run of the leaflet but the continuing online website can be included on it at a later date, and it has a Facebook page.

“The response has been really positive, I think people are appreciative getting something that is promoting local businesses.

“This year especially people realise the strength local businesses bring to the area, they employ local people.

“This promotes local businesses and emphasises the diversity of what they have to offer,” said Coun Robinson (Con).

Coun Robinson said it was going so well the aim was to extend it beyond Christmas and hoped it would become self-funding and run by the businesses looking ahead.