TODAY the Hereford Times launches its Love Local Business campaign.

We aim to champion everyone from sole traders to major employers as lockdown restrictions are eased and life gets back to some kind of normal over the weeks and months ahead.

Please join us in supporting those businesses that provide livelihoods for Herefordshire families, contribute through their business rates to community services, and help make our town centres the vibrant places we love so much.

We are asking you to spend your money in local shops whenever you can, and sing the praises of local businesses to family and friends, and on social media.

On our part we will be banging the drum loudly and proudly for them at every opportunity under the umbrella of our #HerefordshireTogether initiative, which has been uniting the county in its response to the lockdown.

We will highlight the efforts businesses are making to emerge from the shadow of coronavirus while keeping their customers safe and re-building prosperity.

Businesses will also get a chance to shout out themselves about their plans with FREE promotional space in the Hereford Times in print and online (see below).

It is widely accepted that the lockdown has forced a fundamental re-think of the way firms advertise, as well as dramatically accelerating the shift to online. With that in mind, our team of digital marketing experts will be helping to guide them through this complex area.

Support for our Love Local Business campaign is already coming in.

Andrew Manning Cox, chairman of Skylon Park, Hereford Enterprise Zone, said the campaign could be a lifeline for many businesses.

“Local newspapers are part of the fabric of our communities, and I’d like to congratulate the Hereford Times for launching the Love Local Business campaign, which will support enterprises across the county.

“We’d encourage our businesses on Skylon Park to also support this. The coronavirus crisis certainly showed the importance of having good local and flexible supply chains. Campaigns like this will save jobs.”

Frank Myers, chairman of Herefordshire Business Board, said: “I know I can speak for the business community in wholeheartedly endorsing Andrew’s comments and thanking the Hereford Times for taking this initiative.

“Active local trade is the lifeblood of our communities. Think local, and help those who are less able to shop local too.”

Ellie Chowns, Herefordshire Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for the economy, said: “The coronavirus crisis has hit our communities hard. But it’s also reminded us that we have so much to be proud of here in Herefordshire, including an amazing range of local businesses.

“Herefordshire’s creativity and independent spirit are shown by the fact that we have an especially high number of small and micro enterprises in the county – and they need our support now more than ever.

“Now that the lockdown is easing, let’s do all we can to shop here in Herefordshire, support local businesses and help them bounce back!”

The Hereford Times has been part of the business community since 1832. We have built our reputation with our readers and advertisers on trust and dependability, and have been with them through many tough times over the decades.

We have stayed resolute throughout these recent challenging times, continuing to report comprehensively on coronavirus and how it has affected life in the county.

Please join us and Love Local Business.

For information about marketing advice from our experts contact Duncan Hardman. Email or call 01432 845840.

A free shout-out for your business

ARE you a business owner opening up again after the lockdown?

Perhaps you never fully closed, but are now looking to step up the pace of your operation.

You may be trying to promote your business with a special deal or new service to tempt customers back.

If so, the Hereford Times is here to help you.

We have been supporting the local business community since 1832, and have always been there for our friends when times are hard.

Our #HerefordshireTogether Love Local Business campaign aims to help firms bounce back from the difficulties caused by the coronavirus crisis.

And a key part of what we are doing is to offer businesses a brief FREE promotion for their goods or services in the Hereford Times.

All you have to do fill in this simple form. We will upload your message to our website as soon as possible and later publish it in print.

You can see all your latest shout-outs here.

If you add the hashtag #HerefordshireTogether to your social media posts (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) we will re-post then on our own social media channels, which have thousands of followers.