NON-ESSENTIAL businesses in Bracknell are to be showcased by the council in the coming weeks, in order to support small businesses coming out of lockdown.

Bracknell Forest Council made the announcement earlier this week, encouraging residents to shop locally and support high street stores, targeting the Lexicon shopping centre, Crowthorne high street and Sandhurst high street, provided shoppers maintain social distancing. The council also encouraged residents to wear face masks when shopping.

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A £108,000 grant for high street recovery is also to be gifted by the council to stores in the Bracknell Forest borough, and the council will be deciding over the next few weeks on where the grant should be spent, in a bid to restart the local economy.

The council will also be posting content relating to stores on social media to encourage residents.

Cllr Marc Brunel Walker, Executive member for Economic Development and Regeneration, said: “Many retailers in the borough are now open, and some are reporting wonderful support from residents.

"There has been a necessary shift during the pandemic to online shopping, but we are running this #OpenForBusiness campaign to remind residents that it is safe to shop locally and important to support our shops as they recover.

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"As part of our social and economic recovery from the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’d urge everyone to shop local and support our borough’s traders who are working hard to operate with social distancing and hygiene measures in place.

"Thank you to all our retailers for all of their efforts to serve our residents safely.

"We look forward to the reopening of our hospitality industry in the coming weeks as we slowly return to a new normal."