Following six-months of what has been an extremely difficult time for business owners, I was delighted to be able to visit half-a-dozen independent retail businesses in Northampton. Among the shops I visited were:
St Giles’ Cheese, a wonderful small business in St Giles’s Street, selling cheese and chocolate. I purchased some locally-made blue cheese called Northampton Blue!
Professional Music Technology, selling musical instruments in Bridge Street.
Mooch (gift and decorations), in St Giles’s Street, where I purchased a lovely scented candle.
The Model Store, in Wellingborough Road, a business that has been going strong since 1937, where I couldn’t resist a little toy silver Aston Martin!
Styles of London in Abington Street, selling trainers and fashionable clothing
Vintage Guru, in St Giles Street, where several small business people have stalls selling their products. I bought a Northampton mug!
I commend each of these businesses for how they have adapted to be Covid-secure and adjust their operations for the safety of their customers, ranging from one-customer-at-a-time policies to floor markings.
The smiles of the staff and customers alike shone through their face coverings as they continue to enjoy some of our restored freedoms in being able to shop, albeit non-identical to pre-Covid times.
I want to do everything I can to support our local economy in Northampton and, whilst I am glad that many of the businesses have fully utilised the unprecedented financial support which has been available to them - including furlough, loans, grants, tax deferral, and business rates holidays - they absolutely need our continued support following what has been a severely challenging period.