Boost for shops and businesses in the Chichester district this Christmas

Excited business owners have spoken of their delight at receiving free personalised illustrated gift tags and recycled wrapping paper to help promote the unique Christmas gifts and experiences the Chichester district has to offer.

Linda Foskett at The Little Art Gallery pop up shop in Chichester SUS-211123-142901003
Linda Foskett at The Little Art Gallery pop up shop in Chichester SUS-211123-142901003

Working in partnership with the Observer and V2 Radio, Chichester District Council has launched a Christmas campaign to help local businesses rebuild from the coronavirus pandemic which includes the creation of personalised illustrated gift tags and recycled wrapping paper as part of a free Support Local business marketing pack.

Emma Matthews is the manager of vegetarian eatery Café Paradiso, in North Street, Chichester and received her Support Local marketing pack this week.

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She said: “It’s been pretty tough for us with the lockdowns but since we reopened we’ve been busier than ever before.

Emma Matthews manager of Cafe Paradiso in Chichester with festive wrapping paper for the Christmas campaign SUS-211123-142850003

“We really love the Support Local campaign, it’s a fantastic idea. We took part last year and the pretty tags just flew out, they were so popular. I think it makes the Christmas shopping experience in Chichester extra special. We look forward to welcoming shoppers who want to stop for a bite to eat and a cup of coffee while they are out Christmas shopping.”

As well as giving the wrapping paper and gift tags to customers, Emma will be using them to decorate the window of Café Paradiso and using the specially-tailored marketing packs to promote café’s Christmas offers online.

Emma added: “The Support Local campaign will provide a big boost for us. Chichester District Council has really looked after businesses on the high street during the pandemic and now all we need is the support of the public as we get closer to Christmas. This is a great campaign.”

Over in Crane Street, Chichester, Linda Foskett is running The Little Art Gallery pop-up shop — an off-shoot of her permanent gallery in West Wittering and another boost to the area. The space is open Tuesdays to Saturdays, and most Sundays, until the end of December.

Linda said: “We have more than 30 artists and all of them are local or have strong local connections. We thought Christmas would be the perfect time to open a pop-up co-operative in the city centre and since we opened earlier this month it’s been a bit of a whirlwind.

“The gift tags and wrapping paper are lovely and the designs are really quite charming - the lights, the Cathedral and the Cross are beautiful. It’s just right for Chichester, very high quality. I’m really happy to be able to give them away to customers with our artists’ work and I think they will be delighted.”

Linda said it’s important that people can see that the district council is supporting the high street.

She adds: “The campaign allows us to do something a little special for customers.”

To order your free Christmas business pack visit

Councillor Tony Dignum, cabinet member for growth, place and regeneration at Chichester District Council, says the council has worked hard to put together a package of parking offers to boost the Christmas campaign.

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Chichester residents offered free parking at Christmas to support local business...

He said: “Drivers can select two hours parking and get a third free in most council-owned car parks across the district in December, when using the MiPermit app; free parking every weekend in December in the Avenue de Chartres car park in Chichester; and, free parking after 4pm in the Avenue de Chartres car park for the Chichester Christmas Light Switch On event on Saturday 27 November, and for the Chichester late night shopping on December 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy but places like Café Paradiso and the Little Art Shop can only continue to thrive with the public’s support.

“That’s why it’s so important that we support our high streets in Chichester, Midhurst, Petworth, Selsey and East Wittering this Christmas after what has been a very difficult couple of years. The take up of our Support Local business packs has been fantastic and, along with the range of promotions and events we have in place across the district, we are set for a wonderful festive season.”

A whole host of festive activities are taking place across the district to give a boost to local business.

As well as parking incentives across the Chichester District, there are lots of exciting events happening - beginning with the Christmas lights being switched on in Chichester city centre and East Wittering on Saturday, November 27.

That is followed, on December 2, 9, 16 and 23 by the first of four late night shopping events in the Chichester City centre.