People have been urged to buy from local stores after the government issued a stark warning about the risks of catching Covid-19 while shopping at supermarkets.
Speaking in a press conference, Boris Johnson warned that the disease can be passed on by standing too near to someone in a supermarket queue, and also by handling something touched by an infected person.
Entrepreneur Darren Nelson said the dangers associated with supermarket shopping during the pandemic means that shopping local, through an online click and collect service or deliveries, now makes more sense than ever.
Switching to farm shops, convenience stores, butchers, bakers, takeaways and other food shops is safer than going to a supermarket and helps to support businesses that provide jobs for local people, said the director of Penkridge-based Ourlocal.uk.
With business partners Russ James and Andi Elliott, Darren has launched a drive to save our High Streets by helping thousands of shops survive lockdown and thrive afterwards.
They have designed and developed Ourlocal.uk – a low-cost online ordering system and have been signing up shops across the West Midlands to create their own e-commerce websites.
The launch of Ourlocal.uk means those businesses not allowed to open under lockdown legislation can get e-commerce websites within as little as 24 hours, ready to take online orders from customers and arrange deliveries.
Darren said: “Our Prime Minister has warned us that it is dangerous to shop at supermarkets where infected people may have handled the goods you put in your basket or trolley. Of course we support the call for people to make sure they keep a safe distance from others, wear a mask, only pick up what you intend to buy, and wash their hands. But there is a way that people, particularly the elderly and the vulnerable, can shop in a safer way and that is to order online from your local shops.” He added: “By ordering from your local stores you will avoid coming into contact with baskets and trollies that may have been used by an infected person, and you will not have to queue near people that may be carrying the disease. It has to be a safer way to shop.”
Russ said: “We’re urging more shops to get online – it could be the single best decision they make. It could be the difference between survival and bankruptcy. Now, more than ever, we must support shops, pubs, restaurants and other small firms if we want them to survive. Tens of thousands of jobs are at stake.”
During the first three months of the initial lockdown a reported 85,000 businesses in the UK started selling online.
“We believe an online shop is a vital addition to any business, even more so in recent times. We help customers get selling online quickly, without the need for any upfront payment or technical skills. Furthermore, we don’t charge commission and we ensure that their online customers are theirs for the long term,” he added.
Ourlocal.uk is an innovative new company that designs and delivers e-commerce websites for small businesses – covering the cost of set-up – so they can take online orders from customers and arrange deliveries and collections. Visit www.ourlocal.uk