Shoppers in Bognor must 'stay safe and be kind' as non-essential businesses begin to reopen

“This year, more than ever, we need to get behind our small businesses, particularly the retailers who have suffered so badly in the pandemic.”
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That was the message from the Bognor Regis Business Improvement District (BID) ahead of Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is a campaign to support small business, on the first Saturday in December each year.

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The campaign encourages businesses to promote themselves and work with other small businesses, and consumers to ‘shop local’.

Christmas lights in Bognor Regis. Photo: Neil CooperChristmas lights in Bognor Regis. Photo: Neil Cooper
Christmas lights in Bognor Regis. Photo: Neil Cooper

Heather Allen, Bognor BID co-ordinator, said: “The timing is really significant as some of the non essential businesses will be able to reopen due to the easing off of restrictions.

“In the high street, Bognor Regis has been really quite busy seeing as we were in lockdown.

“We want to appreciate members of the community who have delayed their Christmas shopping so they could come back and see their favourite local retailers.”

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Ms Allen said the key message is to encourage people to support locally but still follow the restrictions in place.

“We are right at the start of two major campaigns to support and promote local businesses,” she said.

“We asking shoppers to stay safe and be kind to the shop staff who are up against it. It will be a little bit more stressful but the message is be kind.”

BID chairman, Jason Passingham echoed those calls for shoppers to be respectful.

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He said: “We know our businesses are really excited to be opening their doors again and have put a lot of effort into making their premises both festive and Covid-19 secure.

“It’s become a bit of a cliché to say that things are going to be different this Christmas but please remember to be kind to front line staff and your queue buddies if this year’s different means things take a little longer."

Free parking will be offered in Lyon Street and Hothamton car parks in Bognor on Saturdays in the run-up to Christmas, to coincide with Small Business Saturday.

Meanwhile, there will be further Community Information Officer presence to support customers.

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Businesses and retailers will also be reminding customers of their queuing systems and maximum number of customers allowed in store.

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