Bristol’s shops need people’s support more than ever. 

That was the message from the West of England’s Metro Mayor Dan Norris as residents were urged to take advantage of the Bank Holiday weekend and next week’s May half term. 

He says there is no better time to shop locally and support local businesses struggling during the cost-of-doing-business crisis. 

It’s tough right now for the 17,000-plus small firms in Bristol – from butchers and bakers to pet groomers and pubs, with a recent survey showing six in ten are saying it’s harder than ever to keep their business afloat in the face of rising energy prices, rent and other costs. 

Speaking on a visit to Sparks, a brand-new department store in Bristol’s Broadmead, the Metro Mayor, who has backed small shops and other local indies as part of his Shop Local campaign said it was “more vital than ever” for Bristolians, and other West residents, to back their local high street shops this Spring. 

He said: “Though we have had quite a few bank holidays this year, we’ve got another one coming up, plus it’s half term too, which means we have a great opportunity to get behind our brilliant small businesses – the beating heart of their communities – and to shop, eat, drink and do business locally. “This late Spring is a chance to support local shops who have really struggled in this cost-of-doing-business crisis and need our support – now more than ever. So whether it’s delicious tea and cake at a Bedminster café, or popping into your favourite Gloucester Road eatery, let’s give Bristol’s shops all the support we can this springtime bank holiday, half term, and beyond.” 

The new Bristol Sparks store in Broadmead opened this month thanks to support from the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority, replacing the old Marks and Spencer. Taking a look through the multiple floors, Mayor Norris will see the host of other offerings, including an energy help desk, art gallery to name a few, as well as a range of food, drink and lovely gift shops. 

The 35,000 small firms across the West of England are the backbone of the regional economy, employing more than 180,000 people.

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