A desire to help local businesses get back on their feet after lockdown, inspired Kerri Hunter from Upper Heyford to launch her Take for Two campaign.
Kerri is now calling for other people to get involved and help boost local trade. She said: “After lockdown, I went to get my hair done, and when I got to the till I told my hairdresser to take for two hair cuts, she was taken aback and asked if I was sure. It was a spur of the moment thing really. I have been so fortunate to have worked throughout the lockdown, and I would have probably had three haircuts during that time. My hairdresser is only going to make the money on one cut, so I thought why not? After that I started a Facebook page to encourage others to do the same, not just hairdressers, but all independent businesses who have had to shut down for any length of time.”
So far, Kerri has paid for four lots of cuts with a mobile barber, two rounds of coffee at the local coffee van, two lots of treatments at the beauticians, and has given extra tips to the waitresses in restaurants, used independent florists to deliver flowers, went to an independent furniture and gift shop to buy the furniture for her study and generally tried to encourage people to shop local.
She added: “To the make up of our high street and local economy local businesses are so important and the money you spend with them is for them to survive. I would love to get more people to follow the Facebook page, and to share what they are doing. My beautician has shared a few independent businesses she has supported and our barber has been out treating her family at local independent ice cream shops. But I really can’t solve the economic crisis by myself – We need more people involved. I am hoping my little bit of doing good has some sort of butterfly effect.”
Cherwell Valley Today has always been a big supporter of local independent businesses, and now more than ever people are recognising the importance and impact of shopping local.
Kerri added: “By shopping with them, you are helping to feed and clothe their family, because they need the money more, because for three months they had to invest and adapt to keep going and because even though the government has extended the deadlines for taxes they still have to pay them, so while they might be scraping by now, come January – they are going to have to pay.”
“I think they are more important than bigger businesses because the money they earn goes back into the economy, they spend their earnings – big businesses do not invest back into the economy in the same way. But this is not a campaign against bigger businesses, just a plea to spread what people spend across a broader range of businesses. At Christmas, buy a couple of gifts from an independent business, occasionally go for a coffee at a local coffee shop, instead of buying people generic gift vouchers, buy them for a local trader instead.”
Kerri is a passionate supporter of local independent businesses. She added: “I hope the trend of community spirit that has blossomed during covid will continue, that those who have had to adapt and change in order to survive will thrive with people recognising that they can get the same thing at a similar price from a business that operates locally. People have become so reliant upon the big players they forget that something they are waiting to be delivered to them tomorrow, could have gone and collected today.I hope people remember who was there for them when they needed them the most.”