Here's how you can support your local businesses this Christmas

Chichester District Council, partnered with this newspaper and V2 Radio, are joining forces to support local businesses by launching another special Christmas campaign for 2021 today (November 11).

Friday, 12th November 2021, 11:45 am

The Countdown to Christmas campaign, which is being led by Chichester District Council, aims to encourage people to shop local, spend local and support local.

Building on the success of last year’s campaign, the council has produced personalised illustrated gift tags and recycled wrapping paper for the city and each of the towns to help promote the unique Christmas gifts and experiences the district has to offer.

Tags and paper will be given to the city and each town to distribute to local businesses, and the artwork will be provided for any further supplies businesses may wish to order.

Councillor Tony Dignum, Cabinet Member for Growth, Place and Regeneration at Chichester District Council

It is intended that the gift tags and wrapping paper will be handed out by a range of businesses when people purchase gifts. Residents and visitors can also download them from: www.chichester.gov.uk/countdowntochristmas

Businesses and shoppers are being encouraged to post pictures of their gifts and local services with one of the following hashtags:

#LoveFromChichester

#LoveFromEastWittering

#LoveFromMidhurst

#LoveFromPetworth

#LoveFromSelsey

#LoveFromChichesterDistrict

The gift tag and paper designs will be used to promote the campaign on social media — and people will also be able to celebrate their local town or city, or the district, by applying one of the personalised campaign Facebook frames to their profile picture.

Councillor Tony Dignum, cabinet member for growth, place and regeneration at Chichester District Council said: “Our local businesses and attractions have had an incredibly challenging couple of years and they really need everybody’s support.

“By using local businesses and visiting local attractions, you can make a huge difference, and so our campaign is all about urging people to ‘support local’ this Christmas.

“All of our fantastic High Streets in Chichester, East Wittering, Midhurst, Petworth, and Selsey are looking forward to welcoming you.#

"Many businesses offer a range of unique and beautiful gifts, including locally sourced products that you can’t find anywhere else. They have everything you need to make Christmas special.

“To celebrate our local High Streets and what they have to offer, local businesses are being provided with special Christmas gift tags and recycled Christmas paper promoting their area — Chichester, East Wittering, Midhurst, Petworth or Selsey — that they can give to their customers.

"If you’re a local business, you can also request a marketing pack, with social media assets and other tools to promote your business as part of the campaign, by visiting: www.chichester.gov.uk/christmasbusinesspack.

“I’m pleased to say that we are also introducing a package of parking incentives in council-owned car parks to further support local businesses this Christmas.

"These offers include: selecting two hours and getting a third free in most council-owned car parks across the district in December, when using the MiPermit app; free parking every weekend in December in the Avenue de Chartres car park in Chichester; and, free parking after 4pm in the Avenue de Chartres car park for the Chichester Christmas Light Switch On event on Saturday 27 November, and for the Chichester late night shopping on 2, 9, 16 and 23 December.

"The light displays and Christmas activities in Chichester are organised by Chichester Business Improvement District (BID) and more information can be found at: https://chichesterbid.co.uk/

“Unfortunately, we are still in a pandemic and so I also want to urge people to continue to be cautious and continue to take relevant measures to keep themselves and others safe.”

Residents can show their love for Chichester, East Wittering, Midhurst, Petworth, and Selsey by downloading the artwork for the gift tags and Christmas paper from the website to print at home and use on their Christmas gifts. If they have a Facebook or Twitter account, they can also apply a special frame to their profile picture to show their support for their local businesses.

Chichester District Council has also created an online events calendar so that people can find the most up to date information about local events and activities. This can be found at: www.chichester.gov.uk/whatson

The council is also urging people to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin to find out the most up to date information — and to sign up to their email newsletter at: www.chichester.gov.uk/newsalerts to keep up to date with the latest guidance and updates.

Cllr Dignum adds: “What’s great about this campaign is that any organisation can get involved — and even run their own promotions — just by adding the relevant hashtag and graphics to their social media posts.

"We will be providing the latest updates over the festive period on our website: www.chichester.gov.uk/countdowntochristmas and on our social media sites.

“We would like to thank all of the organisations who are working with us to deliver this campaign to support our High Streets and local businesses. This really is a team effort.”

The Countdown to Christmas campaign aims to encourage people to support local, as well as make people aware of the experiences, activities and events across the district.

It is supported by: The Observer Series, V2 Radio, Chichester Business Improvement District (Chichester BID), The Great Sussex Way, Chichester City Council, Chichester Chamber of Commerce, Petworth Business Association, Petworth Town Council, Midhurst Town Council, Midhurst Town Team CIC, East Wittering and Bracklesham Parish Council, East Wittering and Bracklesham Local Business Alliance, Selsey Town Council, Selsey Business Network, the University of Chichester, Chichester College and Love Where You Live.

The campaign is being delivered using the European Regional Development Fund’s Welcome Back Fund, along with other Government funding aimed at supporting businesses through the pandemic.

Chichester District Council will also be encouraging people to share its special social media Christmas e-cards with friends and family. To take part in this, people will need to follow one of Chichester District Council’s social media accounts.