While the council says the town is ‘cautiously ready for visitors’ MP Sally-Ann Hart has repeated her call for us to play a part in ‘turbo-charging’ the local economy and get it ‘firing on all cylinders’.
Mrs Hart has repeated her message from last week saying: “…now is the time for us all to play our part in turbo-charging our local economy once again.”
Meanwhile Hastings Borough Council’s leader Kim Forward, is less bullish saying: “Now our high streets are open again, our businesses – who do so much to make this town what it is – need our support to help them recover and flourish again,” and says that’s why the council, is backing a buy local campaign and encouraging residents to buy locally to help Hastings’ businesses begin to thrive again.
Town centre manager John Bownas says: “Every pound that gets spent locally rather than online makes a huge difference. You don’t have to spend any more money than you would have otherwise, just take the time to spend it at a shop in town. The local economy will rebound much faster if we stop cash bleeding out through online shopping.
“Just £10 each per week spent this way amounts to £20m a year that stays in the town. So do your bit and buy local.”
Mrs Forward says: “With even more businesses being able to open from the 4 July, the council is here to give advice and support to businesses who need it and to help ensure guidelines are being met.
“We expect everyone, whether they are people who live here or visitors, to follow social distancing and respect the guidelines we have put in place to ensure their safety. We know that we’ve had a relatively low infection rate since the pandemic started. We want this to continue so that our town stays safe and we do everything we can to ensure we don’t have a spike in COVID-19 cases.
“Businesses are working really hard to follow the new guidelines and make sure they are operating safely, and this is very challenging for them. Our town’s new full capacity will not yet be what our pre-COVID-19 full capacity was.
“Please shop local and support our town making sure to stay safe and keep social distancing whilst doing so.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnston announced on Tuesday that easing of the lockdown measures could take place. These include the reopening of restaurants, pubs, theme parks, hairdressers, cinemas, outdoor play areas and many other establishments. He also announced changes in the guidance on social distancing. Wherever possible everyone should maintain the two metre distance, but where this can’t be done, a ‘one metre plus’ measure will be in place.
Mrs Hart says: “I am so pleased that the Prime Minister has given the green light for more businesses to re-open. We are particularly dependent on the tourism and hospitality sectors here in Hastings and Rye, so this news is very welcome indeed.
“The economic support that the Government provided at the outset of this pandemic was unprecedented. Support was given to businesses and employees to get through the worst of the health crisis. Now that we have got the virus under control, we must open up our local economy again and get it firing on all cylinders.”
Mrs Hart says achieving this means: :…finding our collective confidence to hit the high streets, visit local attractions and get out to the pubs and restaurants we have all missed.”
…finding our collective confidence to hit the high streets…
She adds: “Together we have got control of the virus and together we can reboot out economy and come out of this pandemic stronger.”
Kevin Boorman, manager of 1066 Country Marketing, the local private/public sector tourism marketing partnership, says: “We are delighted to be able to welcome visitors again, while stressing that it still isn’t business as usual.
“We are asking visitors to respect, protect, and enjoy. Respect our local communities, any specific guidelines our partners have put in place, and respect our wildlife; protect yourself and others, by taking sensible precautions, and protect the environment and the landscape; and enjoy getting off the beaten track, if everyone heads to the same hotspot it is impossible to stay socially distanced.
“The last thing any of us want is a return to full lockdown, so please bear with us, and our attractions and accommodation providers, as we work together to make your visit safe and enjoyable.”