Earlier this afternoon I had an encouraging visit to Claygate Parade with local Surrey County Councillor Mark Sugden and Claygate Parish Councillor Gil Bray.
The businesses there have had a very difficult time during the pandemic, but it was great to see them bouncing back, and some buzz returning to the Parade.
As I’ve seen elsewhere in Elmbridge, it’s clear that innovation and entrepreneurial spirit – as well as a loyal clientele – have helped Claygate businesses through the challenges of the past 18 months. I saw interesting changes to business practices at Game Larder Butchers, as well as the grocers and wine shop, which has introduced live music sessions.
Government support has also been a significant help to businesses in Claygate and across the borough. In all, businesses in Elmbridge have received £47m in government grants. The final figures for the Coronavirus Business Interruption and Bounce Back Loan schemes, meanwhile, show that over £220m has been made available to local businesses.
As we head into summer, I’d encourage local residents to get out and keep supporting your local businesses, while using common sense and care in observing the guidance in place.