A BUSINESS boss is urging people to shop locally to help stores recover as they start to reopen.

Halstead Chamber of Commerce chairman Mark Jeffrey runs ESO Personalise in the High Street.

He said: “The pandemic has, of course, caused many businesses in the area huge problems.

“While many have been very grateful for the financial help given by central government, there are many which do not qualify for the help for many reasons.

“I understand there is not a ‘one solution fixes all’ and Braintree Council’s business teams have been amazing with the help and support given out via emails and social media platforms.

“I am not aware of any businesses which have disappeared up to now or which may not be able to ride out the storm of Covid-19, but am sure there with be some in our area.

“As a chamber we have decided to make membership free for this year as we understand businesses will need help as we all move back to the new normal in what ever form that may be.

“From speaking with businesses in the town, I know many are looking forward to a return to trading and will be reviewing the Government’s guidelines to ensure they are Covid-19 compliant.

“In the town we have many in the hospitality and beauty sectors which are still facing time with closed doors and we look forward to hearing when they can all get back to doing what they do best.

“I would hope some good that may come out of this situation is the residents of Halstead take a look around the High Street and surrounding area and shop local when ever they can.

“More than ever local business needs their support.”

For more information and details about the chamber of commerce email Mr Jeffrey at chair@halsteadchamber.co.uk.