Launching our summer campaign to help out Lowestoft's brilliant businesses
- Credit: Mick Howes
It has been a tough time for Lowestoft businesses - but the fightback starts here.
The Journal and East Suffolk Council has today teamed up to launch Bouncing Back - our campaign to give our local retailers a leg up this summer.
The campaign, which is shining the light on our high streets, is urging people to return to the town centre and shop locally, giving independent traders the help they need.
Pocket guides to Lowestoft - showcasing maps, walks and information aplenty - have also been produced by the council and are being distributed as part of the campaign.
Journal editor Andrew Fitchett said it was time for the town to pull together and show its true colours.
"We are standing up for Lowestoft businesses this summer," he said.
"Bouncing Back is our call to the community to go out and support your town centre and high street, and to make it a great summer for businesses after what has been a tough year for everyone.
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"Remember, these aren't just business owners we are supporting - they are friends, family, neighbours. Let's show what Lowestoft can do when we put our mind to it."
Craig Rivett, East Suffolk's deputy leader and cabinet member for economic development, said the authority was on board.
Mr Rivett said: "This is a great opportunity to shop local, to see the many great shops we have.
"Lowestoft is a great place to come and visit.
"We have got some amazing assets right here on our doorstep - so this is an opportunity to get behind our town centre and historic High Street, which form part of the Heritage Action Zones (HAZ).
"This summer is a great time to explore and to see what is on offer as there is lots of potential.
"Work on the Gull Wing third crossing is under way, along with the major flood defence works, the £24.9m Towns Fund, the northern and southern HAZs, the refurbishment of East Point Pavilion and the new beach huts.
"I am a Lowestoft lad born and bred and all this investment coming in to the town is fantastic - this is once in a generation."
How we can make a difference
Last month, independent shops and businesses in Lowestoft were part of a successful celebration of our high street.
With Lowestoft joining more than 100 Independent high streets across the UK in putting on very special £5 offers from June 12 to June 26, the Totally Locally Fiver Fest was hailed a success.
Lowestoft played an important part in the national campaign, and Hugh Davies, owner of Books and Prints in Lowestoft, said: "Many businesses across Lowestoft took part and it was really well attended."
Supporting the Bouncing Back campaign, Mr Davies said: "We are still a relatively new business, yet we are still meeting lots of people who visit us for the first time.
"There's lots more people out there who need to visit the town centre, the historic High Street to see what is on offer.
"We look forward to this initiative as Bouncing Back is a positive message."
At Uncle Sid's Zero Waste Store on the High Street, owner Lorraine Le Grice, said: "We have noticed that with the recent Fiver Fest and First Light Festival, events like this are bringing people back to the high street - and that is important.
"As well as being a High Street business, we live here on the High Street, and from our perspective the town centre and high street is not just about shopping - there has to be other reasons to come into town.
"There are at least two new restaurants coming on the High Street to offer further reasons to come and visit the area.
"We have galleries, a cinema, theatres here in Lowestoft - why go to Norwich, when we have these here?
"Let's try and encourage people to come into town and stay for longer.
"Hopefully people are enthused by what has been going on - so please support us, and the high street."
Shopping in Lowestoft, Christine Chenery, who lives in the town, said: "It is important to support the local shops and we come here twice a week to use the independent stores.
"It would be lovely to see new restaurants opening."
Pocket Guides are now available in a number of retailers that cover north, south and central Lowestoft.
Pick up yours today from WH Smith in Lowestoft; Dixon’s News on Ashburnham Way Carlton Colville; Pk Harrod on Hall Road, Oulton Broad; One stop in Westwood Avenue, Lowestoft; Rawmores on Weston Road, Lowestoft; Co op Kessingland in Field Lane; Morrison’s in Pakefield; Asda in Lowestoft; Tesco in north Lowestoft; Home Bargains in Lowestoft and Lidl Lowestoft.