Traders in Widcombe, Bath, have given the thumbs up to a ‘I love local’ campaign encouraging people back into their local shops while reminding them about simple safety steps to prevent the spread of covid-19.

Flags, signs and banners went up in shops all over Widcombe at the launch of the campaign last weekend.

Milsom Street, Chelsea Road and Keynsham are keen to launch their own ‘I love’ campaign and work is also underway for it to launch in Bear Flat.

‘I love local’ has been devised by Bath & North East Somerset Council together with partners Visit Bath, Bath BID and Invest in Bath to support retail businesses and promote the message that it’s safe to go back to our high streets.

It reinforces public health messaging around social distancing and hand hygiene at the same time as encouraging people to shop locally by championing local shops and businesses.

Councillor Dine Romero, council leader, said: “Huge thanks to all the traders who got behind the ‘I love local campaign’ and helped launch it in Widcombe.

“Every one of us has a local corner shop, local baker, charity or coffee shop that we need to support. This is such a positive way to champion the independent businesses in our city and local centres which have all been affected by the lockdown.

We have already had other local centres want to take part and champion their own high streets so we hope this will spread across Bath and North East Somerset.

“At the same time as encouraging shopping locally it is important to continue to underline that we should all continue to be sensible, to social distance, wear a mask when required, and to sanitise hands as we explore what our high streets have to offer.”

Campaign tools have been made available in all high streets, market towns and city centre shopping areas across Bath and North East Somerset.

Simon Brown, from Flamingo Card Art and Gift Shop in Widcombe, said: “This is a great campaign and it has been well executed. It promotes an area we really love and in all is a very good idea.”

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.