Think Local campaign continues to support businesses in Hunts

HDC has launched its Think Local campaign

HDC has launched its Think Local campaign - Credit: Archant

At Huntingdonshire District Council we often talk about working closely with partners across local government and public services. This is because it is a core part of ensuring that we can continue to deliver vital services as we look for ways to adapt to a changing landscape.

We have been working with The Hunts Post on our Think Local campaign since its beginning in October 2020, a journey which has provided a great focus on the businesses that make each of our market town high streets unique, showcasing our high streets and encouraging us all to discover all they have to offer by supporting them with our custom.

From Ramsey, Huntingdon, St Ives and St Neots, we have showcased a wide variety of small businesses, what they offer to the local area and how they have navigated the toughest of times.

After the busier Christmas period with activities to support and encourage safe shopping in our markets and market towns, the new year has posed an extended period of uncertainty for businesses; however, we have been working hard to equip local businesses to try and make the most that they can out of the situation. Key areas of focus for this are ensuring that businesses adhere to the up-to-date restrictions with regards to retail while maximising the potential for online and digital custom.

We have begun to empower local small businesses to improve their online offering if they have not done so already. From businesses starting a Facebook page for the first time to making a promotional video to highlight that our towns really are worth a visit, encouraging conversation over social media about the uniqueness and diversity that can be found in the businesses of our high streets.

There are many ways in which a customer can interact with a small business and as we are currently unable to visit in person, a digital visit is the next best thing. We are also continuing to administer business grants on behalf of the Government, with more than £34 million having been successfully paid to eligible businesses since last March. Businesses remain a high priority for the council and we understand how difficult and uncertain these times are.

Recently, we created the start of a digital presence for our high streets during Christmas by producing individual Instagram guides for each of our market towns. These have been refreshed and enhanced for the new year and can be found on the Huntingdonshire District Council Instagram page (@huntsdc). 

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HDC is now working with partners and other public bodies on long-term projects that support the future-proofing of our towns to enhance their attractiveness to encourage and stimulate the investment and growth that will help our businesses recover. Although we are still living under national lockdown restrictions, we must prepare for when life will return to normal. We are choosing to support and empower businesses to adapt in ways that they previously have not. We ask our community to support them.