Wetherby. A thriving market town, chock full of independent businesses and near impossible to get a parking space on a weekend. It's the reason we moved here (though we're in walking distance so the parking isn't an issue!)
I love living in a small town where you can get to know the small indie businesses and really support them.
I didn't visit the town centre during the first few weeks of lockdown, I had no reason to. But then I walked through it with the dog one day en route to a doorstep photograph....and it was quite haunting.
All these wonderful businesses closed for the foreseeable. Not all able to get the government support they badly need. Hurting. Wondering if they'll recover from this crisis. All with lovely signs in the window explaining that they've had to close due to Covid-19 and promising their customers they'll be back when they can.
It's heartbreaking to see as a customer but also as a small business owner. I don't have premises but Covid-19 cancelled everything I had in my diary - weddings, family shoots and 80th birthday parties. I don't know when I'll be able to work again. I wasn't eligible for the small business government support so the effects of this are significant.
On the positive side, it's wonderful to see that the local businesses who can open - the Grocers, the Butchers, the Fishmonger, the Delicatessan are still able to serve Wetherby. Some of the restaurants are able to deliver and some of the small retail businesses are offering a home delivery service too.
We've had food from both the Scotts Arms in Sicklinghall and the Bay Horse in Kirk Deighton and next week we'll celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary with a takeaway delivery from Pan Sushi.
Both of my children have their birthday coming up, so I'll be looking to see if Treasures Toys are able to deliver their gifts rather than going to an online giant.
If we want our beautiful town centre to restore it's former glory post lockdown then now's the time to support those local independent businesses.