An MP is calling on people to ‘buy Stoke-on-Trent’ to help retailers recover from the coronavirus lockdown.
Jonathan Gullis said now was the time to pay back those businesses which had shut their doors to help protect the NHS and prevent Covid-19 from spreading.
And the Conservative MP, who was successful at the December general election, praised the #IAmOpen campaign launched by The Sentinel and StokeonTrentLive.
The initiative is aimed at supporting businesses in the area and to let them know that they are not alone during these difficult times.
We will hold a regular #IAmOpen hour on Twitter where we will retweet businesses from the StokeonTrentLive Twitter account directly to our 82,500 followers – for free.
During that hour all that businesses need to do is tweet our @Sotlive account with a photograph standing outside or inside the business with an #IAmOpen sign, also including the hashtag #IAmOpen in the tweet.
It has been launched as North Staffordshire business owners have been left assessing exactly how much damage the virus pandemic will cause long-term.
Mr Gullis, MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, said: “The #IAmOpen campaign is exactly the right message we need to send loud and clear across North Staffordshire. Many businesses for the first time ever, shut their doors to us in order to protect our NHS and save lives.
“Some of these businesses will have made a huge personal sacrifice for our health and wellbeing. Now it’s time to pay them back.
“Let’s buy Stoke-on-Trent, whether that is the ceramic mug in your cupboard or a fry up from your local cafe.
“We must all do our bit to ensure we economically recharge and protect the livelihoods of thousands across our region.”
Restaurants offering collection or delivery can add the details to our InYourArea site to let potential customers know about their services.
The Sentinel and StokeonTrentLive are also offering a raft of offers and incentives to help support businesses including free webinars, the creation of free landing pages and free online marketing health checks. Anyone who would like to find out more is asked to contact the commercial team at email@example.com
Sara Williams, chief executive of Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, praised the initiative by The Sentinel and StokeonTrentLive, in supporting local businesses.
She added: “It also acts as a good reminder that some businesses have traded all the way through the lockdown period, providing vital services to their communities.”
LEP chairman Alun Rogers added: “There are hundreds of small businesses open across our area which through this lockdown period will really need our support.
“They play a vital part in our economy and so the LEP supports initiatives like #IAmOpen to encourage people to use their local shops and services.”