This bank holiday weekend Monmouthshire County Council is launching its latest Shop Local campaign, aimed at supporting businesses across the county. The campaign comes as a direct result of regular meetings with local business representatives who expressed a need to encourage more footfall in our towns and of reminding everyone of the importance of spending money here in Monmouthshire, rather than online with a business with no local connections.

To bring local businesses into the spotlight, Shop Local showcases some of the people behind the shops, services and businesses that help make the county so unique via its ‘Faces of Monmouthshire’ campaign. Along with their staff and their families, the business owners are the stars of a series of posters and a video that will be shared across social media from this weekend.

The council’s latest Shop Local campaign launches with a focus on Tintern and the surrounding area, which is full of wonderful and diverse businesses ready to welcome visitors from across the county and beyond. A cross-section of businesses have been included, such as the owners of Abbey Mill, The Anchor, Crafticalia, Parva Farm Vineyard, Silver Circle Distillery, Spirit of The Green Man, The Filling Station and The Wild Hare. They all took part in the Faces of Tintern video which reinforces the Shop Local message, which can be found at Monmouthshire.gov.uk/faces-of-monmouthshire. There will be further coverage of Tintern later in the summer.

Councillor Sara Jones, Deputy Leader of Monmouthshire County Council and Cabinet Member for the Economy, said: “Businesses are having to work incredibly hard to keep afloat after a devastating and unprecedented year. It’s now a year since we first launched our Shop Local campaign to help raise awareness, and this summer we are really hoping it will resonate with more people than ever before. Hearing how much shopping matters locally, directly from those who own businesses, is moving and powerful. The underlying message is that every pound you spend with a local shop, pub, café, hairdresser, etc., is money that will support local jobs and local families.

“Over the past year, Monmouthshire County Council has been doing everything we can to support businesses – we have processed £44.98m in business grants and funding in the first 12 months of the pandemic alone, assisting businesses across the county. Our licensing team has dealt with 285 enquiries relating to assisting businesses utilise outdoor space when trading indoors has not been possible due to restrictions. We have introduced social distancing measures and introduced new parkletts and planters in towns include Abergavenny and Monmouth, which we hope will help encourage residents back to the high street,” said Councillor Jones. “We will continue to work with business owners and do everything we can to support them in their ongoing recovery from the impact of the pandemic.

“This is only the start of the summer campaign promoting local businesses,” confirmed Cllr Jones. “Follow our social media accounts and website for more Faces of Monmouthshire from Abergavenny, Chepstow, Caldicot, Magor, Monmouth and Usk in the coming months. We’re fortunate to have so many incredible businesses here in Monmouthshire, so let’s all do our bit and Shop Local.”

The council is also asking you to help thank those businesses that have gone the extra mile, or that deliver excellent customer service, or that have helped make our high streets special. If you would like to nominate a business for a ‘Shop Local Seren’ star simply tag the business in a social media post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and include @MonmouthshireCC in the post.

For more information about Shop Local visit Monmouthshire.gov.uk/shop-local