Bouncing Back: Lowestoft businesses look to build on summer campaign
- Credit: Archant/Picture Studios
Lowestoft businesses are calling on shoppers to stay local in the months ahead as this newspaper's summertime campaign draws to a close.
The Journal teamed up with East Suffolk Council (ESC) in July to launch 'Bouncing Back', which called on customers to support the town's raft of local retailers.
Following a tough 18 months, we have been urging people to make a return to the high street and give independent traders a much-needed boost.
And, in a show of unity, dozens of companies have backed the campaign by placing posters in shop windows.
The hope now is that consumers will respond by championing the unique service offered by indie stores in the long run.
Mandy Peterson, who runs Lennie's Plants on High Street, was one of those to get behind the effort.
She said: "We all want to buy things for the cheapest possible price, but local businesses give you a chance to look at things, get advice and choose the best product.
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"It makes all the difference to customers and, without independents, we would lose all that.
"We know everybody is struggling and we all like a bargain, but sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture."
On London Road North, Matt Goddard from Picture Studios said changes would be needed on a number of levels to help the high street survive.
"What we need is more places that give people a reason to come into town," he added.
"These large, empty shops need transforming into medical centres, gyms - that sort of thing.
"All we can do is urge people not to give up on us. Only in independents can you get that non-generic shopping experience which offers originality and a high-quality service."
And just a few doors down, Sharon Cleary - who runs Toy Joy Oasis - encouraged the public to be more adventurous in their shopping choices.
"People just need to look a little bit further, rather than always choosing those big chains," said Mrs Cleary.
"They have done well with Covid, where as us small businesses had to close.
"For us, it is about being a proper, traditional toy store which has that personal touch - they are hard to come by round here."
'This is the beginning'
Over the past few weeks, pocket guides to Lowestoft have made shopping across the town easier than ever before.
As part of our campaign, ESC produced thousands of copies of the mini handbooks, which were available in various shops.
In addition to supplying information about the wide variety of businesses, they showcased maps, walks and an abundance of other helpful content.
Two months after the Bouncing Back launch, more than 4,000 have been distributed.
A council spokesman said: "We are delighted to have distributed no fewer than 4,000 pocket guides for Lowestoft thanks in no small part to the Lowestoft Journal’s campaign.
"Each provides really useful and interesting information about the town and what is available – and they have certainly proved popular.
"Lowestoft has been through a difficult time but this campaign has helped showcase what the town has to offer. This is only the beginning of a wider effort, working with Lowestoft Vison, to welcome people back to the town with restrictions easing."