It is beginning to look like Christmas – finally, after a difficult and turbulent year.
Almost every house seems to have gone all out this year with Christmas decorations and our high streets are sparkling like Blackpool Illuminations. We have even already had a bit of snow. Shops are playing Christmas songs and you can’t switch on the TV without one Christmas film or another showing (not enough of Die Hard, in my opinion).
This year has been a huge struggle for local businesses. Many have been forced to close for months – our wonderful pubs and restaurants are still not allowed to open now. Businesses have had to adapt where they can, with some local pubs starting to offer takeaway and shops switching to deliveries and click and collect.
Whilst some were able to change and adapt to comply with the lockdown rules, not everyone could. It has become more important than ever to support the wonderful small businesses that make up our community.
With so many restrictions on travel, people have really got behind the ‘shop local’ mantra this year. With Christmas approaching, it has been brilliant to see our high streets starting to thrive once more. Our local shops and market stalls were there for us throughout lockdown when many people couldn’t get delivery slots from the big supermarkets or were faced with empty shelves and big queues when they could get out. This has been a tough year for so many businesses and it is important that we continue to support them. Atherton must have one of the friendliest and most eclectic high streets in the country. You can walk from one end to the other and buy almost everything you could need – and you’ll probably have been stopped for a chat a few times as well.
Let’s keep supporting our local businesses – and let’s hope that, in the New Year, pubs and restaurants can reopen so we can support them, too.
There is one Christmas present that many people will welcome this year: Brexit has finally been secured. No matter which side of the Brexit debate you were on, I think everyone will be relieved that the matter of Brexit will finally be closed and our country can move on in 2021. With nearly 60 trade deals already secured by the International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, the future is looking bright for our country in the new year.
To all Wigan Observer readers, I wish you a very happy and peaceful Christmas and all the best for the New Year.