Christmas shopping in your local town

The pandemic has had a huge impact on shops, pubs and restaurants, but East Herts District Councils is hitting back with a new campaign encouraging residents to make a pledge to support local businesses this Christmas.

Shop Safe, Shop Local 

Shop Safe, Shop Local is asking shoppers to switch from online shopping with industry giants to supporting local businesses wherever they can. 

Cllr Jan Goodeve, Executive Member for Planning and Growth, East Herts District Council, backs the campaign. She says: "We all love our High Streets, but we all need to do our bit to support local businesses. It’s simple, we have to buy from local retailers and eat at cafes and restaurants otherwise we lose them! I would urge residents to support their local High Street this Christmas by going to a festive event, meeting locally with friends or Christmas shopping where you can from local retailers."  

During 2020 all High Streets across the UK took a huge financial hit. However, stats* show that for every £1 spent with a local, independent business, between 50p-70p circulates back into that local economy. That’s why this Shop Safe, Shop Local campaign is encouraging residents to buy local wherever they can.   

*Independent Retailer Month. 

Towns in East Herts

From merry markets to festive character trails, our town centres have plenty of Christmas fun to offer in 2021.  Find out more on their websites below.


Hertford, the county town of Hertfordshire, has a plethora of independent and national retailers set within the historic market town centre. From boutiques and antiques to electrical and homeware, jewellers and florists, to high-end fashion and ethical businesses, Hertford caters to your every need alongside the essential businesses such as food outlets and pharmacies. More information is available on the Go Hertford website.


Ware has a vast range of quality independent stores, cafes and restaurants nestled on streets packed with history and heritage plus arts and culture. The River Lea runs through the heart of Ware, a perfect place for a leisurely stroll or to stop and enjoy some riverside dining or afternoon tea.  More information is available on the Ware Town Council website.


Buntingford has an eclectic mix of independent retailers, cafes, a wine bar and pub, which makes the historic High Street an enjoyable social experience for shoppers. Each Monday there’s a market on Market Hill, where you can snap up a bargain! Further details are available on the Buntingford Chamber of Commerce website.


Sawbridgeworth is a small town with a ‘village like’ feel thanks to its wide range of independents on the High Street. Sawbridgeworth literally has everything, the butcher, the baker, even a local candle maker! There’s also a plentiful supply of places to eat from pubs to cafés and an ice cream parlour. Find out more on the Sawbridgeworth Town Council website.

Bishop’s Stortford

Bishop Stortford’s High Street and under cover retail complex, offers a great choice of national chains, independent boutiques and specialist stores as well as a range of expert professional services and a fabulous leisure and hospitality offering. Learn more on the Bishop's Stortford BID website.

How to shop safely

How to shop safely: 
1.    Make a pledge to support local businesses this festive season.
2.    Give yourself a treat and dine in a local pub, café or restaurant. 
3.    When shopping, be mindful of respecting others' space.
4.    Consider wearing a face covering in busy places.
5.    Wash your hands and use hand sanitisers.
6.    Handle as few things as possible, only pick-up what you want to buy. 
7.    When you’re making a purchase use a card and don’t forget to bring your own bag. 
18.  Remember if you have any Covid-19 symptoms you must self-isolate. 

About the project

The RHSS EHDC project is receiving up to £132,170 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit website.