Reflecting on where we are now and where we could be in the months ahead…I went to the supermarket today for a weekly food shop and to stock up on a few essentials (not panic or bulk buying, just small preparations in the event of a lock down or self-isolation). Throughout my supermarket shop, I was people watching, observing others behaviour, looking at what they had in their trolley and what was on the shelves. As I stood at the checkout, a news alert came through my phone, minutes before Boris addressed the people of the UK.
I have been living a few miles out of Bath City Centre for the past 7 years, I am already noticing the impact on the city centre to tourism, retail, cafes & restaurants, they are getting quieter. The latest budget announcements are a step in the right direction to support small business such as cutting business rates, but will it be enough?
When the supermarket shelves are empty and you can’t book your online deliveries, who will be there for you? It will be local businesses such as farm shops, village stores, community shops, delis, pubs & cafes...people you know who run the businesses you can walk to or can get to you. These are the people and businesses who will give you a friendly smile, have a conversation, check up on you - even if it's through your letterbox or on the phone...that human interaction to make you feel human again!
Having just started our drinks company showcasing and selling West Country produced drinks, we like many other small businesses are undoubtedly going to be affected and are busy planning & thinking about how we can get products out to communities & small businesses, how we can support our local producers and keep our own business going. After all, we all need to eat and drink!
A big part of our business is events selling both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks direct to consumers, I am expecting events to cancel or be postponed. The other part of our business is promoting and selling locally produced drinks to trade, such as shops, cafes, restaurants, hotels, delis, farm shops, pubs & tourist attractions, we will do what we can to keep them stocked.
We are very fortunate here in the West Country to have amazing food & drink producers on our doorstep. I am confident they will all do their best to keep your local shops, pubs, cafes & delis open and stocked. We can see already on social media that farm shops & local stores are offering to deliver to your door as much as they can. The team at Sweet Drinks Ltd are prepared to stock up our van and deliver drinks such as lemonade, wine and gin to give you some local luxuries.
I was brought up in a small Somerset village, a local community, we stick together, look after our family, friends & neighbours. I am so proud to live and work in this County.
Please love and support local businesses ladies & gents! They need you as much as you need them!
#lovelocal #westcountry #community
Rachel Sweet, MD, Sweet Drinks Ltd