North Staffordshire’s MPs have given their backing to today’s reopening of non-essential retail premises and urged people to support their local high street.
Jonathan Gullis, MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, has urged people to stay local and shop local or risk losing local businesses.
He said: “In Stoke-on-Trent, Kidsgrove and Talke there are many amazing places to go and buy an oatcake or get a takeaway, buy new furniture for the living room you redecorated in lockdown, pick up the Sentinel or simply walk around and find some new hidden treasures.”
“The cost of COVID-19 we know will be big. Our hospitality, leisure and retail sectors have taken a big hit and made huge sacrifices to keep us safe and prevent the NHS being overwhelmed. We owe them.
“If we don’t back them now, there could be a risk we will never see them again. So go out, show your support and remind everyone that Stoke-on-Trent, Kidsgrove and Talke is open for business.”
Aaron Bell, MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, has called on the Government reconsider the two metre rule.
He said: “I’m very pleased to see so many shops reopening. I know how hard their staff have had to work to make their environments as safe as possible.
“Whilst the nation’s health remains the Government’s highest priority, it is vital that we restart the economy to safeguard businesses and jobs across Newcastle.
“I would encourage everyone who can safely do so to support both their local high streets and the town centre.
“The next challenge will be reopening hospitality businesses: pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants. In light of the challenges they will face, I have been pressing the Government to ask Sage to look again at the two metre rule, given the international evidence.”
Jack Brereton, MP for Stoke-on-Trent South said: “It’s great news that shops are able to reopen with special measures in place to protect shoppers and staff. I think this is an excellent opportunity to think about shopping local and supporting the retailers and market traders that make our town centres so vibrant.
“This is only one step towards ‘normality’ but it is welcome progress for everyone who shops and works on our high streets.”
Jo Gideon, MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, said: “It’s great to see many of our shops and businesses opening up again this week. We must support them to give our local economy the best possible chance of recovery. I know everyone has been working really hard to ensure social distancing rules can be observed so we can feel safe whilst shopping.”
Staffordshire Moorlands MP Karen Bradley said: “I am pleased that more shops and market stalls will be able to open from Monday. Our high streets have suffered so much during the lockdown and, although the Government had provided some financial support and many of our local shops have found innovative ways to keep going, nothing can replace opening your doors and welcoming customers back.
“I really encourage people to visit their local high street and market and support our great independent traders.”
Sir Bill Cash, MP for Stone, said: ““Now that so many shops and small businesses, as well as larger ones, are reopening, who have had such an extremely difficult time, I strongly urge people to use them as much as possible while maintaining social distancing.
“I appreciate that many people shop online these days, but these shops and business are essential to the daily workings of our local communities which cannot be exaggerated.”
Theo Clarke, MP for Stafford, said: “I would like to thank my constituents for all their efforts over the past few months, which have made it possible for many shops and businesses to reopen today safely.
“I welcome this Government announcement as a step forward for Stafford town centre and businesses across my Staffordshire constituency. I encourage everyone to support our Staffordshire economy and shop locally.”