Photos (left to right): Meeting small business owners at Vitos Cafe (Ruislip), Minori Pizzeria (Hatch End) and Maison du Soleil (Ickenham)
The Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been an enormous boost for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner over the month of August with 77,000 meals discounted by the government. The scheme was a much-needed and timely intervention to support a great many valued local eateries after an extremely difficult period for the hospitality sector. I was very pleased to be able to visit businesses like Minori Pizzeria in Hatch End, which was open and welcoming back customers.
It is important that we also support our local shops, especially as online retailers became a preference for lots of local residents during the spring. Last month I called for entrants for the Best Small Shops Competition, which celebrates the successes of small shops and the central role they play in their local community.
The competition is open to any small shop operating in the UK. It is free to enter and all shops who do so will be promoted to consumers through an online, independent directory.
A shortlist will be announced in October, with winners announced in November. The judges will be looking for entrepreneurial spirit, ways that shopkeepers have been innovative in their business, and what they have done to have a lasting, positive impact on their community. The shortlisted small shops will then be in with the chance to win one of the five awards, including the newly launched award for small shops’ response to Covid-19.
First published: My Local News, September 2020