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Lockdown has been a challenging time for many. The town of Shrewsbury saw many businesses close their doors and the streets were the quietest they had been in a long time. As the government’s restrictions are slowly lifting, we thought we would share with you some of the ways the town has kept spirits high over the past few months and how it is getting ready to welcome everyone back.

Helping the Homeless

For some, lockdown has been a very scary, lonely time. Even more so if you’re someone who hasn’t got the luxury of isolating in the comfort of your own home. For those who live on the streets, lockdown posed a huge threat. That’s why, after meeting with Shropshire Council, Mike Matthews, manager of the Prince Rupert Hotel in Shrewsbury, decided against closing the hotel and, instead, offered the rooms to those in desperate need. Over the past three months, the Prince Rupert Hotel has accommodated 25 homeless people and this huge act of compassion has even hit the headlines. Rightly so!

Doorstep Photography

To celebrate businesses re-opening, Shrewsbury BID have commissioned local photographer, Birgitta Zoutman, to produce a range of photos, capturing traders standing outside some of the lovely shop fronts we have in the town. We all know that the events of this year and the impact they have had will go down in history so this photography project seems the perfect way to commemorate the re-opening of Shrewsbury after such a difficult time.

‘Bounce Back Shrewsbury’

For a lot of businesses throughout Shrewsbury, re-opening after everything that has happened, whilst taking all of the government’s guidelines and restrictions into consideration, is quite a daunting prospect. That’s why the Shrewsbury Recovery Taskforce Group has pulled together and come up with ‘Bounce Back Shrewsbury’; the idea of providing local businesses with a starter pack containing resources, advice and guidance to help opening back up run as smoothly as possible. The packs contain supplies of masks and sanitiser, as well as Darwin-inspired posters, stickers and signs for traders to display inside and outside their shops to reassure customers that safety measures and precautions are in place.

‘Support Shrewsbury’

For the first time ever, Shrewsbury has its own virtual marketplace – ‘Support Shrewsbury!’ With many businesses worried about their earnings throughout the months of lockdown, ‘Support Shrewsbury’ has meant that a number of local traders could continue to sell products and gift vouchers online. With over 16,000 unique visitors in the first month, ‘Support Shrewsbury’ has been a huge success!

With lockdown slowly easing and everything starting to get back to normal, we are proud to be a part of a town that has really made a conscious effort to help local people and businesses get through this difficult time. The community-feel of Shrewsbury is stronger now more than ever. If you’ve popped into the town recently, you will have noticed the town centre is now pedestrianised to allow for social-distancing and there’s even colourful flags and bunting to celebrate being able to welcome everyone back. Stay safe! 


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