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Local Business steps up to support the community during pandemic

Date: Friday 14 August
Cllr Richard Baker
Title: Lead Member for Business

Despite the coronavirus pandemic presenting huge challenges for our businesses, with many having to suspend their normal service until very recently, I think it is important to recognise all those businesses who stepped up in a wide variety of ways in support of the local and national effort to tackle the virus, protect the NHS and keep people safe – particularly in the first few months.

When lockdown first started, and so many of our local businesses had to close, hundreds of companies adapted their current model of working and instead put their resources into supporting the community.

Some businesses started providing a takeaway service – with free deliveries for vulnerable or shielded residents, others put in place dedicated 'silver' hours, some offered discounts or free services for NHS workers, and some totally started something new – creating PPE or masks.

All of us at Richmond Council are deeply thankful to every company who took it upon themselves to do what they could to play a positive role in this difficult fight that we have on our hands. Whilst the pandemic it isn't over, and the threat of coronavirus still looms large, it is really heartening to see so many businesses that have gone out of their way to do what they can. 

Whilst I would love to be able to name all the businesses that stepped up – the list would be so long. So here is just a snap-shot of a small number of businesses that we are aware of.

In Barnes, we saw the OSO Arts Centre collecting food for their local foodbank, working with the Castlenau Centre volunteers to deliver to shielded residents.

In Twickenham, the Taxi company Ridesmith, offered to help coordinate local deliveries to those who need help, the Eurowash laundrette also offered free washes to NHS staff and Data Reprographics Ltd recruited over 500 volunteers to produce visors, handing them out to doctors, nurses and social care staff.

In Hampton, the Jolly Coopers pub acted as a collection point for donations – working with the Greenwood Centre and the volunteers from Hampton and Richmond Football Club. The Angel and Crown Pub also offered a food pick up for the street homeless, working with the charity in Spear, whilst local news agent Meet and Deep News delivered essential items to those self-isolating. Another pub the Anglers, in Teddington, provided meals for those at home supported by Crossroads Care and delivered by volunteers including Teddington's Fun Factory.

Jolly Coopers Pub

The list really goes on. Despite facing huge challenges themselves, local firms have used their expertise, skills and resources to help fight the virus and protect our NHS. That should make us all proud. There is strength in unity, and our local businesses made the difficult decision to prioritise our health service, our vulnerable people, and the betterment of our community, and they deserve high praise for that.

Richmond Sports

And for this reason, it is more important now than ever to show our support and gratitude by continuing to shop local. Richmond upon Thames has a thriving community of small businesses including shops, food and drink outlets and other services that contribute to the unique high streets we have in the borough. Supporting your local businesses will ensure your high street maintains its character and uniqueness.

As part of our Community Heroes programme, we would like to hear about other local businesses that have helped the local community. If you are a local business who changed your offering during the pandemic or if you have received help or support from a local business, why not tell us your story now.

For more information, visit Community Heroes and Shop Local.

Updated: 30 November 2021

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