'Please support your local businesses' appeal

Councillor

Swithin Long - Credit: Submitted

'Please support your local high street'

That's the plea from council and business leaders in the countdown to Christmas.

This December, Torbay Council are doing their bit by introducing a ‘pay for an hour, stay for the day’ parking promotion in selected council-owned, town centre car parks.

With Covid, town centres have been hit hard by multiple lockdowns, the acceleration of online ordering and supply chain issues – all contributing to a difficult 20 months or more for many high street businesses.

Despite these challenges, figures show that nationally, town centres are steadily recovering. Footfall is slowly but surely increasing across high streets and more businesses than ever were formally registered during the pandemic, proving that entrepreneurship remains alive and well.

Local small business, Fanciflair started in 2009, trading at local arts and crafts markets but set up home in Middle Street in Brixham in February 2021. Mandy said; “It was a brave decision to take up a shop lease in the midst of a pandemic but I’m so pleased I did. We all need to try and ‘shop local’ more often to ensure areas like Middle Street remain and continue to thrive.”

Sally Cope, Chair of Paignton and District Chamber of Commerce said: "Shopping locally has a huge positive knock-on effect to so many businesses and this is why Paignton and District Chamber of Commerce initiated our own Buy Local For Christmas campaign and endorse buying local, not just for Christmas but the whole year round.”

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TDA Business Advisor Kim Thornton said: “I have supported a number of high street businesses throughout the pandemic and have been so impressed with not only the resolve and resilience of existing businesses, but how many new businesses have formed despite the challenges brought about by Covid-19. Torbay’s high street businesses need more support than ever in the run up to Christmas this year."

Cllr Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, said: "I’m delighted that this initiative is launched just in time to help with Small Business Saturday when people are encouraged to support independent traders."

The pay for an hour, stay for the day car park promotion will be live from December 1 until December 24 and will apply at the following car parks:

· Torquay – Lower Union Lane and Union Square.

· Paignton – Victoria Multi-storey

· Brixham – Freshwater, Oxen Cove and Central car park

The one hour charge of £1.40 will apply from arrival until the car park closes the same day. For motorists using Brixham Central, the £1.40 fee will allow for up to a maximum stay of three hours. Please remember to pay on arrival across all of the above car parks.