Richmond MP Rishi Sunak urges public to back local high streets during tour

Dennis Graves talks to Rbehind a perspex safety screen in his Mocha chocolate shop in Richmond.

Richmond MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak toured local town centres as he urged the nation to back their local high street and shop safely.

The MP visited retailers reopening their doors in Northallerton, Bedale and Richmond to see measures being taken to keep staff and customers safe.

The retail sector overall employs more people than any other sector, meaning high streets will be vital as the country recovers from the virus.

Mr Sunak urged his constituents to get behind their town centre as he met business owners who have opened their doors for the first time in more than two months and some who have traded throughout.

He said getting the public back out shopping safely was crucial in kick-starting the economy and encouraged people across the country to support their local high street.

During a visit to Northallerton High Street, he saw first-hand how local businesses, including Barkers department store, Hutton Flowers, Cowley Cycles, have put measures in place to protect customers and staff. He also heard about the many challenges they had faced and how the government’s package of support had helped them during the outbreak.

In Bedale he called at Nickery Nook Gift Shop, Cockburn’s Butchers and picked up a takeaway lunch at Institution. In Richmond he visited the Mocha Chocolate Shop.

He said: “Our much-loved high streets and market places are a cornerstone of the local economy, providing thousands of jobs. At this critical moment in our country’s history, it’s essential that we show them our support as they open their doors again.

“It’s going to take a national effort to help the economy recover from the virus. So, I urge people here and across the country to back local business and shop safely.

“I’d particularly like them to remember those local businesses which were in a position to adjust the way they traded during the height of the crisis to supply us all, but especially the vulnerable, with essentials.”