Love Local: support Essex businesses
There are unique shops, special places and friendly faces to be found in every corner of Essex. Local businesses have faced huge challenges this year and now they need our support more than ever.
Welcome to Love Local, a county-wide initiative that encourages the use of independent shops, restaurants and attractions.
We’re highlighting the ease, enjoyment and benefits of shopping, eating, drinking and visiting locally. Together, we can make a difference to our local economy. We can get our communities back on their feet. We can support the supply chains that have been hit by Covid-19. Ultimately, we can help local businesses survive and thrive.
So, let’s champion the produce, products and people of Essex. Let’s Love Local.
How to support local businesses
Local retailers have opened their doors and they’re ready to welcome us back safely, hand sanitiser and all. It’s time to rediscover the magic of the high street, so head to your local town centre and make a day of it.
From hidden gems in thrift stores to your favourite brands in a local fashion shop, you never know what you’ll discover when you Love Local.
If you don’t fancy leaving the house, you could always Click It Local instead. You can browse local shops online, order items from different retailers and have them delivered to your home in one package. You’ll support local retailers and reduce your carbon footprint, all from the comfort of your sofa.
You can also support local online retailers by:
- finding local and online eco-stores on Love Essex to support local and go sustainable
- discovering handmade gifts and unique items made by local people on the Made in Essex website
- finding gifts, crafts and local businesses in Essex on the UK Small Business Directory
- using websites like Etsy and E-bay and filtering the sellers' location to your area
- finding small businesses near you on the Small Business Saturday website
- finding shops and services near you on InYourArea
- searching for local businesses online and giving them a call to find out how you can shop with them.
Eat and drink local
Your favourite coffee shops, bistros, pubs and restaurants are open for outdoor dining and it’s a great time to show your support and socialise with friends.
Many local hospitality businesses have set up sheltered outdoor areas, as well as Covid-19 measures, to keep you warm, dry and safe.
So, book a table and enjoy great food, drink and company at a local pub garden, restaurant terrace or street-side café.
If you’re staying in or getting a takeaway, here’s how to support local online:
- ordering local produce from Help Essex Buy Local by the Rural Community Council of Essex
- finding a local restaurant or cafe from Dine Out Close to Home from Visit Essex
- searching for local restaurants and food delivery services online and ordering directly rather than using delivery apps. The apps charge restaurants up to 30 per cent of the cost of your order
- finding delivery and takeaway services on Instagram using #EssexFood, #EssexEats and #EssexPub.
We have fantastic attractions here in Essex and they’ve spent a long time preparing for our safe return. Zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas are all open again. If you've been longing for a change of scenery, book a self-catering staycation with your family.
Visit Essex has the low-down on all the best activities, experiences and accommodation in Essex.
For fresh air and great views, head to a country park or outdoor heritage location. The parks, car parks, children’s play equipment and toilets are open, and some of their cafes are open for takeaway drinks. You can save money on car parking and more with an Explorer Pass.
It’s finally time for some real self-care as personal care and leisure facilities are back. Book yourself in at a local salon to show your support and revive those lockdown locks.
Gyms are open too, and it’s never too late to renew your membership or start afresh. Opt for a locally owned gym and join a community of fitness-lovers. Alternatively, join a local sports club or fitness group from Active Essex.
Share the love with local businesses online
Love Local near you
Local councils and partners have set up schemes to support businesses in their area. You’ll find more opportunities to Love Local on their websites:
- Basildon’s Bouncing Back!
- Brentwood Open
- Castle Point
- Chelmsford For You
- Our Colchester
- Epping Forest
- Maldon: Let’s keep it local
- Saffron Walden
- Uttlesford: Shop local, shop safe
Do you own a local business?
We are offering funding, grants and support to help you through the restrictions. Visit our support for businesses and employers section to find out more.