How the shop local message in Hebden Bridge acted as a beacon of hope for businesses
A Hebden Bridge business group kept the shop locally message in the spotlight as many shops closed in the valley.
Shops in the Calder Valley are preparing to re-open on June 15 and hoping that shoppers will come flooding back.
All non-essential shops were ordered to close on March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but as part of the easing of restrictions, they are allowed to open up again from June 15.
Alison Bartram, from the Hebden Bridge Business Forum, said its committee have a clear mandate to act as a collective voice for local businesses, focused on improving our towns in HX7 and encouraging greater trade and tourism.
"The committee members all have businesses in Hebden Bridge, or have had a business in Hebden Bridge, and are all committed to the volunteer work they do for the Hebden Bridge Business Forum," she said.
"At the start of this pandemic in March when local businesses closed ideas were brainstormed during two zoom meetings. It was thought that having a great strapline to brand the town for recovery would be a great idea, Loyal To Local was born.
"The initial idea to find someone to manufacture branded face masks for all HX7 businesses hit a number of brick walls sadly due to lack of funds - the HBBF is a not for profit organisation so not able to fund projects without partners.
"Unfortunately, although there were many Covid-19 grants available the amounts would not cover the cost of production despite a lot of initial interest from many businesses prepared to pay £4 per cotton lined mask.
"The big idea was to brand our shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants this way to instil confidence in the general public that Hebden Bridge and our surrounding areas still remained vibrant places to visit whilst safe to do so.
"The groundwork that one of our members, Sam Morton, did on the artwork was not in vain however as we have produced the standard 30 cm circular floor stickers for businesses carrying the strong Loyal To Local message.
"These are now available to order from all our wonderful local printers - The Print Bureau, Pennine Signs, Lambert Print and Design and Simprint. Business owners simply have to place their orders with their printer and these floor stickers will be ready for when they can start to trade again safely.
"Loyal To Local sits very neatly with our town website hebdenbridge.org which is one single community website bringing together a simple positive message which in turn informs and stimulates the visitor economy.
"The website was designed with Totally Locally and their ethos is adopted here with this concise message that is straight to the point for locals and visitors alike asking them to shop small and support local businesses; all of our small businesses need customers to return and to be loyal to local going forward if we are to have a chance of surviving these challenging times."
#SupportLocal - Is your business reopening on Monday?
We would like to share your stories about your business what it has been like and how you are preparing to reopen. Also if you have been one of the traders which has kept your shop open during lockdown we would love to hear from you and what it has been like for you.
Email your stories to [email protected] so we can help promote your shop and let our readers know you are open for business.