A series of initiatives will be led by Thanet District Council in a bid to encourage more people to use the district’s local high streets throughout the festive season.
Supported by the Welcome Back Fund, the Shop & Eat Local this Christmas campaign will raise awareness of the benefits that supporting highstreet businesses can have on the local economy. It will also give these businesses the opportunity to raise their profiles amongst local residents, which will play a key part in increasing footfall.
All campaign activities will be recognisable as they will feature a festive illustration – an adaptation of the popular Respect, Protect, Enjoy logo which was created for the council’s summer awareness campaign. Residents can expect to see the festive design on posters, buses and on social media in the run up to Christmas.
The campaign will also be encouraging local businesses to get involved and raise awareness of their Christmas offerings by taking part in a digital advent calendar and festive shop window competition. Both initiatives will be run on the council’s social media channels to encourage people to share with their friends and family.
Hosted on the Council’s website, the digital advent calendar will give local businesses an opportunity to put themselves forward to feature each day from Wednesday 1 December in the run up to Christmas Eve. They will also be able to share a festive offer to entice shoppers.
An Instagram competition will encourage businesses to share photos of their festive shop windows with @OfficialThanetCouncil who will run a poll for their followers to vote on their favourite. As well as increasing their profile locally, the winning business will be named ‘Local Business of the Week’ on community radio station Academy FM.
Cllr Reece Pugh, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said:
“Our local high streets need our support this Christmas and this campaign is a great way to remind people about the fantastic array of independent businesses on our doorsteps across Thanet. Not only can you find unique and creative gifts, but you spend money knowing that for every pound spent in small or medium sized businesses, 63p goes directly into our local economy.
“I’m particularly looking forward to seeing all the businesses being featured in the advent calendar, as I’m sure I’ll come across one that I haven’t heard of before and be able to bag myself a festive offer in the process!”
To further encourage footfall, the council offers free parking at selected car parks in the district every Saturday.