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Shop local plea to help businesses bounce back

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Dudley Council is urging borough residents to help local businesses bounce back from the coronavirus crisis – by shopping locally.

Non-essential retail shops have begun re-opening this week as part of measures to gradually ease the lockdown announced by the government.

And borough residents have been urged by council bosses to support their local town centres, where measures have been put in place to maintain social distancing and ensure safety.

Free parking remains available on all council-owned car parks.

The call comes as part of The Dudley Deal, an informal agreement between the council and anyone who lives, works or runs a business in the borough.

It has three strands and one of them – the Business Deal – urges residents to do their bit by buying local where possible to help the economy. In turn, the council promises to support business start-up and growth, cut red tape and make it easier than ever for residents to support local businesses.

Councillor Simon Phipps, cabinet member for procurement, transformation and commercialisation, said:

As part of the Dudley Deal we’re doing our bit for local businesses by cutting red tape and simplifying how we work with them.
We’re asking residents to also play their part by shopping local during this crucial period as we come out of lockdown. It’s been a very difficult time for local firms and they will need our support and our custom to fight back.
We already have fantastic examples of small businesses in our borough, providing quality products and services and contributing significantly to our local economy.
Please get behind our traders and shop local to help them bounce back.

Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said:

We need to do everything we can to support our town centres as we ease our way out of lockdown and help the recovery process.
At the same time, we have to get the balance right to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people visiting and working in our town centres.
We all need to take responsibility to follow social distancing guidelines and we hope that by putting measures in place, we will make it as easy and safe as possible for people to return and support their local high streets.

Dudley Council is working on a raft of measures to guide visitors in the town centres and ensure social distancing guidelines can be followed.

It includes markings on the pavements, barriers and other measures to help people stay safe while shopping.

Stourbridge High Street will also be pedestrianised between 9am and 4pm each day.

An online resource hub is available on the council’s website, packed with useful maps, a video, and posters for traders to add to their premises.

The council is continuing to work closely with businesses to ensure staff and customers have the latest government advice.

For the latest advice on coronavirus visit www.dudley.gov.uk.

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