Mayor has message of hope after a tough year

A new year marks a “turned corner” and Newport’s business community has reasons to be hopeful for the future, the mayor said.

The mayor Councillor Peter Scott
The mayor Councillor Peter Scott

Town and borough councillor Peter Scott said he was especially admiring of the independent traders who have made the decision to open new businesses in the town despite the uncertainty of 2020, and said that the townspeople are prepared to back them.

They include the Box of Goodness fruit and vegetable traders, who opened a shop in November, and Novella Craft & Cocktails, who set up shop in the vacant Barclays bank branch.

The mayor said that the efforts of these new traders, as well as the many independents who have operated in the town for years, are a “feather in the cap” of the town centre.

“I think a lot of the businesses have done extremely well given the circumstances. Many of them have gone into click and collect which has been very helpful.

“It has been very brave of some of them to open. They’ve made the effort while everything has been locked down, it’s been well-received by people.

“They decided to open while we were in the position we were in, it shows a positivity and an optimism. I salute anyone that has presented their businesses to the town in the last 12 months.

“It also helps the normality of the situation.”

The town council launched a ‘Choose Newport’ campaign supporting town traders in an effort to keep them going after the impact of the summer coronavirus lockdown.

“When people come to Newport for the first time they see how many independents we’ve got. You can get virtually anything in town at the moment, everyone is trying to support them where they can.

“What it’s doing is showing the town is optimistic for the future. I’m hoping that we stay in Tier 2 at the worst.

“People want to be out, they want to shop, they want to meet each other. Within the rules, we are doing very well.

“[Businesses] probably aren’t making money at the moment but they are not going under.”

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