FALL back in love with your favourite shops in York and help get our city back on its feet.

The Press is launching a new campaign, Love Local Business, to coincide with the reopening of non-essential shops today.

We are urging you to show your support by continuing the local shopping habits embraced during the lockdown, which have brought our communities together.

Today is an important, tentative first step towards recovery for high street retailers, many of whom are independent and family-run.

Businesses have been working hard to be ready to welcome back customers, implementing a whole host of safety measures to enable people to feel safe and confident about venturing out.

York Press:

Nigel Burton, The Press editor, said: “The Press is proud of its long tradition as a campaigning newspaper. Now, more than ever, York needs our readers’ support after months of closure for shops and businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic. People’s livelihoods depend on how well our businesses are supported today and over the coming weeks.

“Love Local Business is asking people to do just that - fall back in love with York city centre and support local shops.”

The campaign will be showcasing shops and businesses which are the backbone of York’s economy and highlighting the work taking place to help with the recovery.

The campaign has the backing of The York BID - a business-led partnership that invests in services, projects and events to boost York city centre’s economy.

Executive director Andrew Lowson said: “The coming months are crucial for retail and hospitality. With no trading income for most, businesses will be eager to make the most of the summer months and we are confident that local people will want to support the great shops that we have.

York Press:

“York is a beautiful and clean city, with great outdoor spaces; qualities that I think will be important to people.

“I know businesses are putting health and cleanliness at the heart of their reopening models, because they understand that the public need to feel confident and reassured when leaving their homes.

“We all need to show respect and understanding to one another in the coming weeks and if we hold these values true, I am confident York has every opportunity to recover successfully.”

Welcoming the campaign, York Central MP Rachael Maskell said: “The biggest boost to the local economy will be for York to be known as being a safe city for residents and visitors. Signposting, hygiene stations and being clear that people can and need to keep two metres apart will secure this message.

“Businesses have taken significant measure to ensure that York is safe. We need to support them in all that they are doing to achieve this. It is early days and there will be a lot of learning that needs to take place.

"We can all play our part by exercising patience, respecting the space of others and raising concerns with the council where we see them. We are still in the midst of a dangerous pandemic, and everything we do must seek to save lives and stop the spread of infection.”

To get involved, and share your business’s story, contact our business editor Nadia Jefferson-Brown on email at nadia.jefferson-brown@thepress.co.uk