Oxford City Council, Independent Oxford, Experience Oxfordshire and The Oxford Times team up to support the city’s businesses through lockdown

Published: Thursday, 5th November 2020

Oxford City Council, Independent Oxford, Experience Oxfordshire and The Oxford Times have teamed up to support the city’s businesses during lockdown.

The four organisations will promote Oxford’s businesses – through digital and print editorial and advertising – throughout November.

The City Council is also re-creating its popular online directory of Oxford businesses that are operating online during November, especially those offering deliveries, takeaway and Click & Collect.

The aim is to support Oxford businesses, but also to be a guide to residents who would like to shop local at this crucial time of year, whether that is for essential supplies or Christmas gifts for family and friends.

The run-up to Christmas is a crucial time for businesses, with many making the majority of their year’s revenue during this ‘golden quarter’.

Directory of businesses open online

The City Council’s directory contains Oxford businesses selling everything from locally-sourced fresh food to homeware and bicycle repair.

It also contains businesses selling a wide range of Christmas gifts, including jewellery, books, crafts and gaming.

To view the directory, visit: www.oxford.gov.uk/openonline.

Advertising and editorial support

The City Council, Independent Oxford, Experience Oxfordshire and The Oxford Times will be promoting Oxford’s businesses in the run-up to Christmas.

The promotion will include:

  • The City Council promoting both the online directory and the Covered Market’s website through online and offline advertising
  • The Oxford Times, supported by the City Council, offering free advertising opportunities in the paper to Oxford’s businesses
  • Independent Oxford creating an online map of the independent traders operating in Oxford city centre, which it will be promoting
  • Experience Oxfordshire promoting the campaign through its local channels

The City Council has written to businesses in Oxford offering them the opportunity to be promoted during the campaign.

Any business in Oxford that has not yet been contacted and wants to take part can contact the City Council by emailing: citycentre@oxford.gov.uk.

“The run-up to Christmas is a vital time for Oxford’s businesses, with many making the majority of their year’s revenue during this ‘golden quarter’.

“It might seem easier this year to use large, international websites to shop for all your Christmas presents at once, but taking the extra time to shop with local businesses will not only get you more interesting gifts, it will also support local businesses and local jobs.

“We have tried to make the process of supporting Oxford’s retail, hospitality, leisure and service businesses as easy as possible by creating a directory of businesses in the city that are operating online, especially with deliveries and takeaway, during the lockdown.

“So, please give a gift to your friends and family – and to local businesses – this Christmas by visiting: www.oxford.gov.uk/openonline.”

Councillor Mary Clarkson, Oxford City Council Cabinet Member for City Centre, Covered Market and Culture

“We’re really passionate about encouraging people to invest in their local economy and community, and I think more than ever, people see the value there.

“Buying local helps to make us feel grounded, connected and purposeful, and these are the feelings of comfort and security that all too easily evade us at times like this.

“We’re really pleased to be working on this campaign with Oxford City Council, Experience Oxfordshire and The Oxford Times, to highlight the brilliant independent businesses in our city, and make it easier for local people to support them.”

Rosie Jacobs, Co-Founder and Director of Independent Oxford

“It is vitally important that we continue to support business at this difficult time. This means promoting businesses that are still able to trade and operate under the new national restrictions and supporting those businesses that have had to temporarily close.

“We are continuing to plan for when restrictions are lifted and encouraging residents to support their local businesses at this time. We have so many great businesses across the city, let’s all do all we can to make sure they survive and we can continue to enjoy them in the future.”

Hayley Beer‑Gamage, Chief Executive Officer of Experience Oxfordshire

“With businesses facing a difficult time in the run up to Christmas, we want to do what we can to help.

“We want our readers to support their local independent traders and do as much of their Christmas shopping with those businesses.

“If we show them our support now, they will be with us for the long term when the pandemic is behind us.

“So please do what you can, shop local and help these firms have a sustainable future.”

Pete Gavan, editor of The Oxford Times