Join our ‘I Am Open’ campaign to help Derbyshire businesses bounce back from lockdown
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, it is still causing huge problems for businesses across Derby and Derbyshire.
Help is at hand though, as people across the city and county have joined our new #IAmOpen campaign to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus lockdown.
Several business owners across the area have shared pictures of themselves on social media with signs saying #IAmOpen to show customers that they are up and running.
Business owners keen to join in include Parlour Tea Rooms at Bryer’s Heritage Farm.
Mark Roberts, 61, co-owner, said: “It has been a hard struggle to build up the business to what it was in March, due to local competition and we are sure that it will take many months to rebuild it once again so are seeking your support if possible.
“I am backing this campaign as the coronavirus has had a devastating effect on small businesses especially cafe’s and restaurants which have been closed for many weeks since the lockdown, but the regular bills still keep coming in.”
The business hopes to reopen for initially takeaway orders from next weekend.
The Needles pub in Alvaston has also backed the campaign.
Staff have started up a breakfast and Sunday lunch delivery service to try and offset some of the financial losses they have incurred during lockdown.
Trevor and Melanie Jenkinson, owners of the pub say they have also been making preparations for when customers return so that social distancing can be observed.
Trevor said: “Derbyshire Live have always been supportive of local businesses and it is great to see this campaign.
“We have been doing OK since the lockdown. A lot more people are online and our Facebook likes have really gone up since it all began.
“I don’t think financially it’s affected us as much as others, our staff were furloughed. Now they have been helping over the past couple of days by getting the pub ready.
“The paper has always helped businesses and we are pleased to be part of the campaign.”
Morley Hayes is also backing the campaign.
Andrew Allsop, managing director of Morley Hayes, said: “When lockdown came into force and our hotel, restaurants and golf facilities were all forced to close, we acted quickly and introduced a takeaway and delivery service to support our local communities.
“This has proved hugely successful and now includes a special Sunday menu, along with themed menus for events like Easter and VE Day.
“As soon as government restrictions were lifted on May 13, our two golf courses and driving range reopened.
“Full safety measures are now in place, which our golfers are all adhering to. No casual pay and play arrangements are currently available, so booking a tee time is essential.
“It’s great to see so many golfers back out on the course and we look forward to welcoming guests back to our hotel and Dovecote restaurant and Roosters bar in the near future.”
Stuart Johnson runs the Derby Bed Centre, a family business.
He said: “It’s great that the Derby Telegraph are helping to promote the smaller businesses during these times.
“We’ve spent the last few weeks working out how we are going to move forward in terms of keeping our family and customers safe (Derby Bed Centre is family owned and run).
“Financially it will be difficult, but we’ve been here 20 years now and fortunately have many loyal customers who recommend us with Facebook and Google reviews.
“Hopefully, moving forward the public will back our small High Street retailers selling UK-made goods.”
The new initiative provides businesses with a suite of free marketing solutions they can use to publicise that they’re open for business – and safe to visit.
The benefits include the creation of a free website landing page and promotional montage video, plus the provision of complementary creative design services.
This support package has been designed to meet the needs of all businesses that are re-opening, regardless of industry and location, and is supplemented by a range of heavily-discounted commercial products including digital advertising, social media advertising, and content marketing.
Jim Brinkley, director for Reach Regionals, said: “When the UK was placed into lockdown at the end of March we introduced our #ThereWithYou campaign.
“Our aim then was to provide timely marketing assistance as businesses struggled to adapt to the ever-changing situation.
“The response astonished us, with more than 1,100 businesses taking advantage of advertising savings worth close to £1m, and we expect #IAmOpen to deliver even more savings to thousands of businesses across the country.
“Many businesses are now getting ready to re-open, yet trading restrictions are changing all the time and customers may be confused as to which businesses are allowed to open. This is where the free services and low-cost options provided as part of our #IAmOpen initiative will prove invaluable. If businesses are open, we’re here to help get the word out.”
To support the initiative, Reach has created two special badges that businesses can use on their websites and social channels – one to let customers know that they’re open, and another to let them know that they’re also ‘Covid secure’, in that all necessary precautions are being taken to protect staff and customers.
Mr Brinkley believes that #IAmOpen will provide a boost for businesses that are currently feeling the effects of reduced consumer spending.
He said: “Research shows that more than half of the UK’s businesses are reporting a significant decline in orders. A similar number are saying that they haven’t benefited from any government measures, so we’re proud that our #IAmOpen campaign can go some way to filling the void.
“Our promise is to support the UK’s local businesses now, throughout and beyond the Covid crisis, and #IAmOpen is another step on the road to achieving that.”