Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a call for the public to shop more locally and support small businesses, with a fifth of them fearing permanent closure as a result of the second national lockdown, and a further 48 percent claiming it could take up to 12 months for a full recovery.
£42 million in government grants have been paid to Salford businesses, according to Salford CVS.
Salford resident, Mo Willott Hunstone has used small businesses for her Christmas shopping for 40 years. Saying she never buys from the big retailers, and this year will be no different.
When you shop local in Salford, you're spoilt for choice. Small businesses often stock items made locally and aren’t available elsewhere, providing a great range of choice and unique items.
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“I don’t think I’ve been to the Trafford Centre for three years, I am not a shopper.
“It’s incredibly important to me, and always has been, to support my community and support local businesses.
“It’s the big retailers who aren’t suffering at the moment and will be the ones coming out the other end of this pandemic”.
Until December 2nd, all non-essential businesses have been ordered to close.
Because of this, organised Christmas shoppers like Julie Smith and her daughter have not been able to stick to their usual shopping plans, but say this year has made them put more thought into what gifts they buy.
“Lockdown’s really made me think about where I’m spending my money, I haven’t got much, but what I am spending I want to make sure at least someone’s benefiting from it.”
Julie used to be a self-employed cake maker and has a lot of friends who run small businesses.
“I’ve watched their work be completely decimated, it’s made me much more aware of other people
“I think that will continue, because I’m going to see them trying to pick up their businesses”.
One Salford small business owner who has found a positive in the pandemic is Bronagh Rafferty.
Bronagh runs Irish Sayings Printed and says the lockdown has had a positive effect on her business.
“I was furloughed from my full-time job in April, so this meant I had more time to focus on developing my products and my designs.
“A lot of my products have Irish sayings on them, so for any Irish person that’s living abroad or can’t be with family, it’s that little piece of home.”