"IF every person in Worcester spent £10 at an independent business, it would inject over £5million into the local economy" – that's the message as we urge our readers to back the city this Christmas.

We are calling on our readers to show your support for our unique independents by shopping local.

Last week we launched our Love Local Business campaign to encourage people to spend their money locally in the run up to Christmas, to help businesses as they struggle with the impact of coronavirus.

This week we caught up with Sam McCarthy of Worcester BID and Helen Mole of Visit Worcester to discuss how people can shop safely and securely.

Sam said: “This campaign is all about supporting local businesses in the high street.

“If every person in Worcester spent £10 in an independent businesses it would inject over £5million back into the local economy.

“However, in the current climate it would be irresponsible to encourage hoards of people to come to the city so we made sure all our independent businesses now have online platforms. Meaning you can shop locally, from your sofa.

“Independents are the future of the High Street with the ability to adapt and embrace change quickly and effectively as we have seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

“During lockdown they were here for us adapting their business models instantly to deliver you all the products you required. Toys and Games of Worcester was one of the first businesses to embrace the new normal, delivering toys and games to children during a really hard time and bringing some joy to young faces.

“It is important that we repay them the favour now and choose to shop local and support them how they supported us. Worcester’s independents did not let Worcester down.”

Helen added: “It has been a difficult year. So whilst our goal is to make sure people can enjoy Worcester’s brilliant independents safely, we also want it to feel Christmassy. We have organised some street entertainment, the lights will be switched on and shops will be dressing their windows as usual."

Helen added: "We have seen a trend this year whereby people are already buying gifts, this is actually brilliant for social distancing as it stops the usual crowds mid-late December.

“Although sadly the Christmas Fayre this year will not be going ahead we have organised for market stalls to be dispersed around the city every weekend up until Christmas so we can still support our wonderful traders.

“We have adapted the city centre to make sure that it is a safe environment for shoppers. Measures we have taken include, moving street furniture, putting up social distancing signs and increasing street cleaning.”

Love Local Business is supported by Worcester City Council, Worcester BID, Visit Worcester, Crowngate Shopping Centre and Worcester MP Robin Walker.

To get involved with the campaign, contact Dale Godliman on 01905 742372 or dale.godliman@localiq.co.uk.