City centre businesses are stepping up to tackle the coronavirus crisis and keep the high street going. Over 70 services are still being offered in an effort to keep Chester’s city centre strong and support the local community.
Social distancing measures have been firmly in place across Chester city centre since the UK went into lockdown on 23 March. Many businesses, from independent homegrown brands to larger national brands – have needed to shut their doors following Government guidance, prompting the creation of the ‘Chester Together’ campaign.
Spearheaded by CH1ChesterBID, the city centre’s Business Improvement District, Chester Together provides a platform that connects businesses with customers promoting real tangible ways they can support each other.
More than 70 services including groceries, food and drink deliveries, pharmacy, and other services can be found on the Chester Together Digital High Street map hosted at www.experiencechester.co.uk/chestertogether.
Businesses across the city have joined the campaign including Francis Thomas Green Grocers, Chester Market, Beer Heroes, Da Noi, Ristorante Sergio, Leonida’s Chocolate Café, The Baristas, Paysan and Up North Records to name a few.
Sarah Tunstall, Business Manager for Ristorante Sergio’s said:
‘As an independent restaurant, we were able to quickly set up our ‘At Home with Sergio’ service to safely provide delivery and takeaway service of hot and cold dishes to the people of Chester and the surrounding areas. With the support of the Chester Together campaign we’ve not only been able to provide homemade comfort food to our loyal customers but to many new customers too. We’ve even managed to include Italian music with deliveries for those celebrating special occasions at home.’
Cllr Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Growth, said: ‘Our market traders have always provided an essential service to the people of Chester, but since the outbreak of coronavirus the need for a strong local market is greater than ever before. Fruit, veg, meat, cheese, eggs – we’ve got it all available for collection and delivery to ensure the most vulnerable members of our community can get the goods they need to stay safe and healthy.
Our traders are working long hours packing orders and maintaining high standards of hygiene. As long as there is a demand for their services, they will continue to support the city along and beyond.’
The Chester Together Digital High Street map shows Cestrians where services are available from with links through to details on how to access them whether by phone, email, website or social media networks.
Emily Ghazarian, Marketing Manager for CH1ChesterBID said:
‘We are incredibly impressed with how Chester city centre has responded to this crisis. Whether by combining delivery services, creating new takeaway menus, offering free parking or fundraising for local causes, we have proudly watched the city come together with a collective effort to keep Chester Together.
We’ve created Chester’s Digital High Street map to make finding services from the city as easy as possible. This map shows that although we have to socially distance for now – Chester is still very much together. We help businesses reach out to the people of Chester and surrounding areas, maybe people who were not originally their customers, to provide them with products and services that will make lockdown more bearable.’
‘The coronavirus is impacting the entire globe which is leaving some of us feeling a bit helpless. By focusing on our small patch of the world we can stay connected and have an impact on our city’s future during a time of uncertainty.’
The campaign is supported across social media using #ChesterTogether, with a Chester Together Facebook group and webpage hosting the map and links to accessing services.