A campaign to protect and promote Middlesbrough’s small businesses through the coronavirus outbreak and beyond has been launched.
The Buy Boro project is backed with a free online directory set up by Middlesbrough Council, where local businesses can be listed and local residents can find local services and goods through the Covid-19 restrictions.
The directory can be found at www.buyboro.co.uk and among the businesses already listed are butchers, breweries, grocers, jewellers, online wellbeing groups and food delivery outlets.
Figures show that for every £1 spent locally between 50p and 70p circulates back into the local economy.
Shopping online or out-of-town may save a little time or a little money, but for every £1 spent only 5p trickles back into the local economy.
Also, with just a 10% increase in local spending nearly 100 jobs can be created, as well as creating huge benefits for the environment, communities and families.
Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston said: “Here in Middlesbrough we have absolutely world class local businesses who are the lifeblood and human face of our economy.
“When all of this is over the big boys, the supermarkets, the multi-nationals, they’re probably going to be mostly OK in the main.
“We’re launching this campaign to get behind all of the town’s brilliant independent businesses – they’ve never needed us more and we’ve never needed them more.”
Among the first local businesses to voice their support for the campaign are Rounton Coffee Roasters, who have coffee shops on Bedford Street and in Debenhams and Hillier Jewellers, based on Linthorpe Road.
Rountons founder Dave Beattie told how they had been trying to do their bit by supplying 20,000 free cups of coffee to NHS workers at James Cook University Hospital, the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton and the Nightingale hospital in Harrogate.
He added: “We aren’t the only business doing remarkable things – there are plenty of businesses in our area going above and beyond and it really does show the ability for small businesses to adapt, we hope by making these contributions that we can do our part because we know we have had so much help and support from our local community.
“We are fortunate in the sense as a coffee roaster we are still able to roast coffee we have an e-commerce site so we are still able to send coffee out through Royal Mail that’s one saving grace. If ever there was a shout out to support local businesses this is it.”
Adam Hillier, who runs the long established family jewellers business with brother Lewis, added: “I genuinely want to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported us prior to this over the last 40 plus years and certainly the people who have supported us over this crisis, and I am really looking forward to getting the roller shutters up and getting people back in the store but obviously we only want to do that when it is safe to do so.”
• Any local businesses wanting to sign up to the Buy Boro campaign can email firstname.lastname@example.org