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Vale of Glamorgan town centre traders call for support during local lockdowns

Shop Cowbridge, Shop Safe

High street traders across the Vale of Glamorgan say they “need shoppers now more than ever” after local lockdown measures were imposed.

Owners of businesses across the Vale are urging people to support the high street following restrictions which have been reintroduced this month.

In a bid to support pandemic-hit shops, the Vale of Glamorgan Council has launched its Vale Town Centres campaign, calling on people to continue supporting independent businesses which have seen trade seriously affected since the outbreak.

As part of the major campaign, which has been joint funded through the Welsh Government’s, Transforming Towns initiative, Covid Recovery Revenue Funding, and the Vale of Glamorgan Council, shoppers are being urged to head to high streets in Barry, Cowbridge, Penarth and Llantwit Major.

This comes after research from the council revealed that 55% of businesses said the pandemic had a serious impact on them, with over half of businesses believing their high street won’t recover. Business confidence amongst those on the high street has sunk to an all-time low, with fears around footfall and profitability.

However, the council is reassuring shoppers that local high streets are “completely prepared” to help them shop safely.

In a bid to encourage people back to the high street, the campaign is highlighting the additional health and safety measures shops across the Vale of Glamorgan have implemented. These include installing hand sanitiser stations, staff wearing PPE, two metre distancing markers in store, one-way systems in shops, contactless payments, and queue markers.

Lis Burnett, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration and Deputy Leader of the Council is urging shoppers to support their local high streets at this challenging time, and added that “they need you now more than ever”.

She said: “The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on all our lives, but for our nation’s high streets it has been devastating.

“Independently run businesses are completely reliant on the support of local residents in order to survive – without that our high streets will never recover.

“That’s why we are launching this campaign and throwing our full support behind our vital high streets.

“As we enter local lockdowns, we’d encourage everyone to support this campaign by doing their bit to support businesses in Cowbridge, Barry, Penarth and Llantwit Major.

“Our research shows that 67% of people have prioritised local shopping since lockdown- this is a trend which must continue and will have a significantly beneficial impact on local high streets.

“Our amazing traders have worked tirelessly to support their communities during lockdown, and will be doing so again as we enter local lockdowns.

“Whether you’re shopping for something big or small, everything helps. Please show your support and think local, they need you now more than ever.”

In a bid to raise awareness of the campaign amongst Vale residents, high street businesses will be displaying stickers and posters in-store and online, calling on people to show their support, save local jobs, and preserve the heart of the community.

Promotional shopping bags and hand sanitisers will also be distributed and residents are encouraged to get their sanitisers refilled in their local town – Awesome Wales (Barry), Awesome Wales (Cowbridge), Major Refill (Llantwit Major) and Foxy’s Deli (Penarth).