As we enter the period of the new normal, East Grinstead non essential shopping will begin to open up to us. Of course non essential, depends on your view point!, but we all know now, that although we have been able to get our groceries and health care, very little else has been available to us. We may have been able to pick up a few extra items at the supermarkets, but the independents who do not sell food, have had to remain closed.
Some have moved online and many of you have been treated to an amazing service, often over and beyond what you might expect, but many of our High Street independents and their physical presence, have been sorely missed.
It has been sad to walk through East Grinstead and see the tightly closed doors and window displays stuck at Mother’s Day and Easter.
At last we are approaching a time when the Government feel it will be safe, with some extra measures, for shopping to resume. Retailers will be feverishly risk assessing their businesses and working out how they can become ‘Covid Compliant’. Fewer people in their premises, social distancing, strict rules on handling the wares, screens, queuing systems and anti-viral gels. It doesn’t sound exciting does it?, however, all of these things will be to ensure the safety of the customers and staff and to ensure their businesses can not only survive this crisis, but continue to thrive.
The traders can do all the necessary things for our safety, but the one thing they will need is a commitment from us to support them; to shop local. The traders are human beings, they a going through this crisis like the rest of us with the uncertainty of what the future holds.
So come on East Grinstead, you’ve shown how you can support the Key workers and each other through the last 10 weeks and please continue with that, but now, how about putting some money into your local economy. Every penny there goes to people who care about you and the town they trade in. Talk to the local businesses, they are ready to listen and you may find that we all have something else to really shout about.