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Gloucestershire Business News

Punchline Says: Think local to keep giving this Christmas

Most of the events of 2020 have been out of our control, but there is one thing which we can all do to help ensure a merry Christmas for more people - back local traders.

Punchline-Gloucester.com is backing calls for shoppers to support local and independent businesses this December after months of closures, restrictions and uncertainty.

And if local Gloucestershire businesses tag @PunchlineGlos on social media, we will retweet and share their posts outlining their festive offerings.

The Federation of Small Businesses has launched its Love Your Small Independent Business campaign designed to encourage people to #shopherethischristmas.

Closer to home, Gloucester Business District is highlighting one local trader on social media each day as part of its Shop Local Advent Calendar.

The BID has teamed up with Gloucester City Council to offer free parking in KIng's Walk and Eastgate shopping centre car parks every Thursday until Christmas.

Tewkesbury Borough Council is offering free parking at its car park on Saturdays before Christmas in the town and Winchcombe, while Stroud District Council is backing independent traders with its Think Local First campaign.

And ahead of Small Business Saturday, Punchline editor Mark Owen is in no doubt of the importance of making full use of our city and town centres or local high streets after the change in coronavirus restrictions allowed shops to reopen.

He said: "Most of 2020 has been extremely tough for most of us and local, independent traders have been hit hard, forced to shut their doors for long periods while larger chains and online operations have continued to trade.

"And it is not just them who have suffered - their suppliers and countless associated trades have been felt the impact of the pandemic as we stayed away from the high street.

"We can all do our bit to help by doing our Christmas shopping with local firms, ensuring giving is not just limited to the people who unwrap our gifts come the big day."

He continued: "The last few days have provided some hope that some form of normality is in sight next year with news about an imminent vaccine, we need to ensure we do not emerge from the pandemic to discover we have lost many valued local businesses which will not return.

"So many great shops, cafes, suppliers and other businesses have worked hard to survive through difficult times, to lose them would make our county a much poorer place, helping them this Christmas would be a great gift for everyone."

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