Muddy opinion: let’s support our shops
Anyone else itching to get into a real shop when they open on 15 Jun? Here's why I think hitting our local high streets is a good thing.
As lockdown eases, retailers classed as non-essential are allowed to start reopening from next Monday (15 June) and I could not be happier at this news. I know some people will be very cautious about hitting their local high street just yet – obviously, there is still a virus out there and that threat shouldn’t be taken lightly – but my feeling is that if you feel safe, confident and able to do so, let’s show our favourite local shops our support.
If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that Muddy has always been about championing the plucky, diverse, brilliant independent retailers that proudly pepper the high streets of Bucks’ and Oxon’s villages and towns – and they need us more than ever right now. Never has the phrase ‘use it or lose it’ been more pertinent.
The local business owners I’ve been talking to say they’ve been working hard to make their spaces safe for customers and staff. Nellie & Dove fashion boutique in Deddington is going to be handing out complimentary funky washable facemasks to customers that they can keep; Kew Little Pigs farm experiences in Great Missenden have a waiting area for pre-booked tickets, distanced carparking, disinfectant for hands and shoes and and an obligatory health and safety talk; and my local NORSK cafe in Haddenham has a one-way system and only person at the counter at a time policy.
So where I am heading this week? Well, I’m already getting my flat white fix from NORSK, so I’ll combine that with a trip to The Book House in nearby Thame – it’s broken my heart during lockdown to have to order books from Amazon while this much-loved local literary treasure trove has been shuttered. I’m also hoping to tiptoe my way to Westgate Oxford just to enjoy the buzz! A pub or restaurant experience will have to wait another few weeks but that’s OK, I’m a patient woman.
So where will be your first port of call and why? I’d love to hear your shout-outs for your local high street heroes – tell us in the comments box below. Don’t forget your face mask and hand sanitiser, along with your credit card!