President's Message - November 2020

Posted: 11th November 2020, 12:32pm

With another lockdown coming, many of us will turn to Amazon for our Christmas shopping but, if we do, we will only have ourselves to blame if the new year brings a host of vacant shop fronts in St Albans and Harpenden. Our independent retailers contribute hugely to the vitality and unique character of St Albans and Harpenden that distinguish these centres from so many homogenised high streets. The situation was critical for many of our local retailers, prior to the latest lockdown announcement, so now, more than ever, we need to respond if we want to preserve the unique character of our city centre. We must use them or we will lose them.
Many of our retailers contribute in so many ways to our community, it’s now our turn to step up our support for them. Buying local puts money back into our local economy, and into local jobs. And let’s tell others about the wonderful independent stores we have here in and around St Albans: let’s be vocal and support local. 
The Cards for Good causes shop, previously located in the Cathedral in the run up to Christmas, raises £70-100,000 annually. The shop is run by a dedicated band of local volunteers. This year the shop was due to run in Dagnall Street Baptist Church but, with this Thursday’s lockdown, will only manage two days’ trading before having to close.
Cards for Good Causes desperately need to raise the money for these charities that have already been so badly hit by the pandemic. Could Chamber members help by ordering cards rapidly this Tuesday and Wednesday – or does anyone have any great ideas as to how they can continue to trade while their shop is closed? Do get in touch with any suggestions.

With best wishes, 
Alastair Woodgate

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