HALSTEAD’S mayor has issued a rallying call urging residents to support their local businesses by shopping in the town.

Businesses across Halstead have been opening up their doors for the first time in months after lockdown restrictions are eased.

Now the town’s new mayor is calling for residents to help businesses recover from the coronavirus lockdown by shopping local.

Mayor Mick Radley said: “After a long period of lockdown it’s good to see the businesses in town starting to re-open and more people out and about in the town centre.

“At this difficult time as the local economy starts to rebuild it’s important that we support local businesses and the jobs they provide for residents.

“I encourage everyone to shop local if possible.”

Halstead Chamber of Trade and Commerce chairman Mark Jeffrey welcomed Mr Radley’s support.

He said: “We would like to congratulation the mayor on his position and wish him the very best for the year ahead.

“It was great to hear comments on supporting local business and the high street.

“As a chamber we look forward to getting business moving on the high street as well the industrial areas in town.

“When it is possible we would love to opportunity to meet with him and the rest of the town council to look at how we can promote not only existing business but bringing in new businesses to the area.”

The mayor’s message has also been welcomed by independent business owners.

Abigail Cutter, 26, who owns the Cutters hairdressing salon on Head Street, fears for the future of the town’s independent businesses.

She said: “Now more than anything we need people to shop local so we can save our high street.

“People are buying online and I get that it can be more convenient, but they don’t understand how much it means to small business owners.

“Even grabbing a coffee, I go to an independent place because I know it’s that person’s livelihood.

“I think we’re going to see an empty High Street.

“It’s hard to compete and sometimes I’ll see it.

“I’ll recommend a product to a customer and they’ll sit there an google it while I’m doing their hair, looking for it cheaper online.

“It’s pretty disrespectful.

“I’m encouraging people to buy from the professionals.

“Businesses need our support and it’s like the saying – you use it or you lose it.”