Public urged to buy local following challenging year

The public have been told to source goods from local, family-run businesses
The public have been told to source goods from local, family-run businesses

Consumers are being encouraged to keep their Christmas shopping local this year to support rural businesses following a challenging period for many.

At the beginning of the pandemic, many small firms were forced to shut down for a long period of time, with some still closed to this day due to current guidelines.

According to the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), this has had 'crippling consequences' for many rural and countryside-based businesses.

Now the Farmers Union of Wales (FUW) is urging the public to support them, as the Covid-19 crisis has 'highlighted how vital local shops are'.

FUW Deputy President Ian Rickman said: “As we speed towards Christmas, I would urge you to think about your rural businesses.

"See if you can buy local, either for the upcoming Christmas dinner or even gifts for family and friends."

He said the nation saw how important local shops and businesses were at the start of the pandemic, and ensuing months-long lockdown.

“Many of us relied on them to help out with delivering food and other essentials during the lockdowns and now is the time to repay that favour by supporting them.”

Mr Rickman further encouraged people to speak to their local butcher about meat for the Christmas period and to see what the local farm shop has to offer.

“I promise you will find many of the ingredients you need for your Christmas dinner right on your doorstep," he said.

"There are also plenty of small shops around that offer Welsh craft and locally designed gifts and of course the choice for local food gifts is aplenty.

“These are small decisions we can make that will have a big impact on our rural economy, and we need to support our rural businesses who have suffered this year because of the pandemic."