‘Change your shopping times’ - Mayor’s idea to help local businesses thrive

Dereham Mayor Linda Monument cuts the ribbon. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Dereham Mayor Linda Monument cuts the ribbon. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A town mayor is encouraging people to change shopping habits to help local businesses thrive.

Dereham’s market has been open for business throughout lockdown selling fresh food and plants to the community.

Now, the town’s mayor, Linda Monument is hoping the appeal of shopping in the open will keep people interested in local produce.

She said: “Feedback both from customers and stall holders indicates that remaining open has been popular, as people have much preferred shopping in the open air.

“With the non-food stall holders set to return at the beginning of June, the market is likely to remain popular because it is out in the open.”

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With social distancing measures still being in place, the mayor has addressed the question of if the town will still be able to hold the same numbers as before lockdown.

She said: “There is a simple way to allow enough footfall for the businesses to thrive and still maintain social distancing for us all: it is for some people to change their shopping times.

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“Research carried out by Breckland Council before the lockdown indicated that peak footfall in the town occurred between 10.30am and 2pm daily.

“If some people were able to organise their shopping trips to avoid the peak times, shoppers could socially distance and feel more comfortable, while the traders would have more customers and the whole town would benefit.

“So here’s the challenge: if you can adjust the times you shop, please do! It will make more space for all of us and keep the market and the town centre thriving.”

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