FROM booking Christmas food deliveries with local suppliers to buying gifts online from independent businesses, residents across Northwich are being urged to support the businesses on their doorstep during the current national lockdown.

Hopes of a Covid-19 vaccine by next Spring could mean this is the first and last Christmas where festive cheer will mingle with face masks, social distancing and lockdown restrictions.

But, leaders across the region are calling on communities to rally around and shop local to help traders emerge from lockdown in the best possible position.

The Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Marketing Cheshire and the local authorities in Warrington; Cheshire West and Chester; and Cheshire East; are all putting their weight behind plans to make sure the Christmas spirit will leave a positive legacy for local firms.

This latest drive to support the region’s economy is part of the wider 'Let’s Turn This Around' initiative, which was set up by local councils and the LEP to urge residents and businesses to work together to keep the region open and ready for business.

Among other activity already in place to champion independent traders in Northwich is a dedicated Facebook group called Visit Northwich Town Centre Online, which has been set up a hub for retailers, pubs, bars and restaurants to post special offers and updates for local people.

It includes information about which services are running within the town, detailing initiatives such as click-and-collect, deliveries and takeaways, offering a ‘virtual high street’ for those living in the area.

Adam Gerrard, Northwich Business Improvement District (BID) project manager, said: "We wanted to get something up and running as quickly as possible to give support to our businesses to help keep the orders coming in and this seemed like a great way to do it.

"It will also allow people to see the different services, updates and initiatives from town centre businesses all in one place, and give shops and traders another platform to promote what they’re doing over the next few challenging weeks.

"I would urge the people of Northwich and surrounding areas to join the page, check out the great lengths our businesses are going to at the moment to keep going and shop local where they can.

"Our high street needs your support more than ever this year and your purchases could make all the difference.”

As part of the wider call to support local, the Chester BID has created the Chester Gift Card, bringing together more than 100 of the city’s shops, leisure suppliers, bars and restaurants.

The card, which can purchased online and delivered directly to the recipient, is a pre-paid Mastercard that acts as a local currency for anything from a coffee to a night in a hotel, an experience or a shopping spree.

Family favourite Chester Zoo is also encouraging visitors to consider a membership or animal adoption as Christmas gift this year.

To find out more about how to support local during lockdown, visit:

If you would like to get involved with 'Let’s Turn This Around' and share your business’ best practice for keeping Covid-secure, or share which businesses stand out for you, visit: