A digital advent calendar and festive posters will be part of a Thanet council campaign to encourage people to shop local this Christmas.
Supported by the Welcome Back Fund, the Shop & Eat Local this Christmas campaign will raise awareness of the benefits that supporting high street businesses can have on the local economy. It will also give businesses the chance to raise their profiles with the aim of increasing customers.
All campaign activities will feature a festive illustration – an adaptation of the popular Respect, Protect, Enjoy logo which was created for the council’s summer awareness campaign. Residents can expect to see the festive design on posters, buses and on social media in the run up to Christmas.
The campaign will be encouraging local businesses to get involved and raise awareness of their Christmas offerings by taking part in the digital advent calendar and a festive shop window competition. Both schemes will be run on the council’s social media channels to encourage people to share with their friends and family.
Hosted on the council’s website, the digital advent calendar will give local businesses an opportunity to put themselves forward to feature each day from Wednesday, December 1 in the run up to Christmas Eve. They will also be able to share a festive offer to entice shoppers.
An Instagram competition will encourage businesses to share photos of their festive shop windows with @OfficialThanetCouncil who will run a poll for their followers to vote on their favourite. As well as increasing their profile locally, the winning business will be named ‘Local Business of the Week’ on community radio station Academy FM.
For every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business, 63p stays in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business.
The scheme follows on from the successful Fiver Fest run across Thanet towns in October under the Totally Locally scheme.
Cllr Reece Pugh, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “Our local high streets need our support this Christmas and this campaign is a great way to remind people about the fantastic array of independent businesses on our doorsteps across Thanet. Not only can you find unique and creative gifts, but you spend money knowing that for every pound spent in small or medium sized businesses, 63p goes directly into our local economy.
“I’m particularly looking forward to seeing all the businesses being featured in the advent calendar, as I’m sure I’ll come across one that I haven’t heard of before and be able to bag myself a festive offer in the process!”
The council will also be offering free parking at selected car parks in the district every Saturday:
Mill Lane Car Park – Margate
Harold Road Car Park – Cliftonville
St Peter’s Park Road Car Park – Broadstairs
Cannon Road Car Park – Ramsgate