A Kingston NHS worker has created an online Christmas market to support local businesses during the second lockdown.
Angharad Brown, 39, decided to create the virtual Christmas market when she heard the Kingston Christmas market had been cancelled.
She said: “I just think it’s essential to support local businesses and help local people to have a good quality of life during these hard times.
“I find it really sad going into Kingston and seeing independent businesses shutting down, it affects the community and the atmosphere.”
The virtual Christmas market Facebook page launched on Tuesday, 17 November, and has over 56 local businesses promoting their products on it.
There is a wide range of products available including health and beauty products, artwork, and experience tickets.
Brown said: “It’s a nice way to get Christmas presents for people and support the local community at the same time.”
‘We all need the business’
Michele Phillips, 51, owner of local business The Pottery and Crafts Studio has been advertising on the virtual Kingston Christmas market.
“Christmas is usually my busiest time of year, so when the second lockdown was announced I had a bit of a panic.
“Amazon are rich enough, we all need the business, so it’s great that locals can still support local businesses through Facebook,” said Phillips.
Brown said the opportunity to utilise online retailing offers some hope to local businesses to survive the second lockdown.
“With Covid going on we don’t know what the future holds, so I think it’s good that local businesses can have the option of retailing online,” she said.
The Kingston virtual Christmas market page provides a link to a Gofundme campaign which was set up by Brown to raise money for the local school, St. John’s.
The school’s climbing frame broke last year, so the Gofundme campaign aims to raise £400 to help buy a new one.