‘Support us or lose us’ say local businesses post-crisis

SUPPORTING local businesses will support local jobs is the message from shops after the launch of the States of Guernsey campaign to help island companies.

During lockdown many were forced to close for months. At the same time many islanders turned to the internet for more of their shopping.

But this is taking money off-island.

As lockdown has eased business has boomed at some local businesses, but it is important to keep that momentum.

R. H. Gaudion employs about 45 people. Director Martyn Gaudion said he hoped islanders would choose to continue shopping with them.

‘It’s going to be important that the public try and support local businesses and keep the money on-island,’ he said.

‘Island companies are going to need the support of people buying locally.’

He was keen to note that local businesses were trying to compete with the internet. He noted that the store keeps a wide range, which they try to keep at a competitive price.

But it was not just about short term. He said it was vital people support the island companies in the long term.

Creasey’s is a big local employer, with more than 400 staff on their books, of which about 250 were on the regular payroll.

Managing director Peter Creasey said a lot of businesses were struggling.

‘A lot of businesses are up against the wall,’ he said.

‘It’s so important to shop local. It has always been important, but I’m not sure people have really appreciated it. But now off the back of Covid, this will be make or break time for many businesses.’

He said it was important to remember that when a business collapses it has a ripple effect. It is not just about the staff they employ, but the taxes they pay and local tradesmen they use, which all benefit the local economy.

Bougourd and Harry employs five staff.

Managing director Alan Bougourd said they had seen an initial surge of customers after lockdown, but things had now quietened again. He hoped a wish for home improvements would encourage people back into the shop. He said there were many benefits to buying locally, rather than online.

Alan Bougourd of Bougourd and Harry. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 28410605)

‘The attraction is being able to come in, look at things, pick them up and make sure an item is what you want,’ he said.

‘Internet shopping is here to stay and some have found it more convenient than going down the road.’

The company has been offering email orders and deliveries for a while, but Mr Bougourd said they had seen an increased awareness of the service during

lockdown and they were continuing it now.

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