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In this three-minute read, we share some ideas on how you can help your local shops and businesses through these difficult times.

One of the most remarkable things about the Covid-19 crisis is the way communities in SIDCUP have pulled together.

People have stepped up and supported their neighbours, the vulnerable and the NHS.

As we enter a new phase of this pandemic – let’s dare to call it post-lockdown (touch wood) – we mustn’t lose that sense of community spirit.

Yes, we may be weary, we may be yearning for a relaxing holiday in the sun, but the fight isn’t over yet - not by a long shot.

Along with stamping out the virus, we need to get our stalled economy moving again.

To do this, we need to redirect all the positive energy we’ve seen over the past few months towards helping our local economy.

High street blues

Even before Covid-19 the UK’s 7,000 high streets were suffering. High rents and competition from online retailers and out-of-town megastores meant many shops and pubs were closing their doors.

At the start of 2020, there were 50,000 fewer high street shops than there were a decade ago.

As retail guru, Mary Portas put it: “We’ve sacrificed community for convenience.”

Well now is the time to start to fix that by supporting family-run and independent businesses in SIDCUP.

Don’t forget service providers 

While local shops, bars and pubs are a vital part of the community, the local economy is much broader than that. Think about the solicitors, physiotherapists, beauty therapists and independent estate agents who also contribute to the local economy and employ people.

We need your support too.

It’s your call