Independent businesses are urging people to shop locally and keep their money in Norwich before what they hope will be a great summer.
The rallying call has been launched as the Norwich Evening News launches its Summer in the City campaign as coronavirus restrictions ease and businesses are welcoming customers again.
Paul Mills, owner of Soundclash Records on St Benedicts Street, said the business has been extremely busy since it reopened on April 12.
He said: “People want to support local businesses and want local businesses to survive. My message is to maintain the Norwich pound. This is the only way to go. When you shop online, you crave the goodness of the city center.
The record store owner has said he will keep the screens until Christmas regardless of what happens with social distancing rules.
Another St Benedicts Street trader who has said he will keep Covid-19 security measures in place for a while is Mark Hedge, who manages Cookes Band Instruments.
He said that while the trade is a challenge, the business will continue to “dig and buy sensibly”, and said he hopes they will see a boost in the summer.
Mr Hedge added: “We need people to support us. Once we have people, we are good at selling.”
Daniel Goldsworthy, a partner at Norwich Art Supplies, moved the business to a larger store on St Benedicts Street in December of last year, giving it three times the space of its previous residence and has attracted more trade.
He said: “I hope people come back to the stores to help keep the money in the local economy rather than draining it online. We are positive for commerce. Having been doing this for over 25 years , you learn to take a longer view. “
Susie Pritchard, assistant at the Mod One fashion and accessories store on Pottergate, said: “People are happy to spend the money after the lockdown. There is a change in the fact that people are optimistic about the ability to get out People feel safe walking into independent stores They feel in control Everyone is adjusting to the new version of normal.
She added that the store attracts people with new summer inventory, more women’s clothing and sells items online as well as social media advertising products.
Rely on the tourist trap
A textile store owner is hoping to attract customers with the expected increase in holidaymakers from across the UK this summer.
Rebecca Bone, who has run the Norfolk Yarn wool store since 2005, said summer was generally a quieter commercial time, but that she usually made up for that by selling to tourists from overseas.
And despite an expected reduction in those visitors, she was hopeful that Norwich would attract more people from across the country, as the travel situation remains uncertain.
Ms Bone said she moved from Aylsham Road to Pottergate seven years ago to attract tourists and said: “Norwich is a very good destination normally. I hope there will be more tourists this summer . “
She added: “Since April 12, business has been going pretty well. There has been pent-up demand. People are happy to leave their homes. People are quite relaxed about entering.”
Our Summer in the City campaign inspires people to make the most of what Norwich has to offer this summer.