Only Fools and Horses legend Sir David Jason says back your independent traders — it’s ‘what Del Boy would want’

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ONLY Fools legend Sir David Jason today urges Sun on Sunday readers to back their independent traders — saying it is “what Del Boy would want”.

Outdoor markets open again on Monday across the nation after months of lockdown.

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Del Boy would want you to support independent traders, Sir David Jason says
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And Sir David, who played wheeler dealer Derek Trotter in the hit sitcom, joined us in urging people to back businesses poleaxed by Covid-19.

Sir David, 80, said: “Del Boy would want you to support your local market and local shops.

“Now, more than ever, it would be great if we could all support our local shops and market traders.

“They have taken a big blow during this pandemic and they will all need a boost to get back on their feet.

“Let’s continue this trend for making shopping personal and local.

“Before we click online, think of the supplier who is just down the road from you who needs your support.

“Just remember, you can ask a shopkeeper a question about a product, but you don’t get that personal touch with a computer.”

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1,373 local markets opening again across the country[/caption]

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£4.6billion is the value of local markets to Britain’s GDP[/caption]

Greg and Mandy Christofi, who run a bread stall at Fox Valley Market, Fox Valley, Sheffield

‘MEET YOU AT THE MARKET’

His support was echoed by entrepreneur Sir Alan Sugar, politicians and Britain’s 32,000 market traders, who will all be back out on the streets.

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week said outdoor markets can open from Monday as the risk of transmission of coronavirus is lower in open spaces.

While traders selling essential items have been allowed to continue at some sites during the lockdown, now other stall holders can open up again too.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Our high streets are a key part of what makes Britain great — serving our communities, providing jobs and bringing us together.

“As we reopen our country and kickstart our economy, it’s important we all do our bit to support our local shops, traders and services.

“Our huge package of support had helped millions of firms get through the crisis with cash grants, scrapping business rates and paying millions of workers’ wages. But we must all come together as a nation to help Britain recover.

“That’s why I’m backing The Sun on Sunday’s support of our markets and shops.

“Together, we are urging people to shop local and support high streets in their communities as they re-open from Monday.”

‘LIFEBLOOD OF THE ECONOMY’

It will bring a welcome boost to the economy as the traders who operate in 1,373 markets across the UK bring a whopping £4.6billion to the UK’s GDP.

Lord Sugar, who started out in London’s Petticoat Lane Market, said: “I started my career with a stall in one of the UK’s oldest markets.

“Make no mistake they are a key part of the lifeblood of the economy.

“We should all be getting behind our local market traders to give them a boost in these difficult times, whilst obviously making sure to comply with the government social distancing advice.”

National Market Traders Federation chief executive Joe Harrison said: “We’re back in business and we’re calling on Sun on Sunday readers to support us to give our hard-working market traders a much-needed boost.

“For too long, market squares in our towns and cities have missed the bustle, atmosphere and calls of our hardworking traders selling their wares.

“But now the streets and squares will be filled with traders again — signalling the first steps for Britain as a whole getting back and open for business.”

‘SAFE TO SHOP’

He said members have been given guidelines to ensure shoppers’ safety.

And they have liaised throughout the pandemic with the Government, praising the decision to let markets open again.

He added: “Market trading is no longer just about fruit and veg stalls, it’s enjoying a renaissance.

“It’s a completely different shopping experience to the malls.

“It’s personal, it’s full of life’s most amazing characters and entrepreneurs and it’s the heart of many communities and has been for centuries.

“Many multi-million-pound businesses started with market stalls and we’ve seen an exponential growth in stalls selling artisan foods and crafts as well as more traditional products.

“But millions also depend on them as they’re great value for money. And it’s great to be back.

“Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have listened to us as an organisation — we’ve been in constant talks with them to get our outdoor markets open safely again.

“Our message is, it’s safe to come and shop with us, you are outside where there’s much less risk of the virus spreading, our traders will be operating with your safety at heart so customers can come back to us with confidence.

“We look forward to Britain coming outside to go shopping with us this week.”

Adam Marshall, director general of British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities.

“There has never been a more important time for people to support local firms, many of which are facing unprecedented challenges.

“We must come together and support local businesses as they work to restart, rebuild and renew themselves and their communities.”

Rishi Sunak said: ‘It’s important we all do our bit to support our local shops, traders and services’
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‘BEATING HEART OF COMMUNITIES’

John Longworth, ex-MEP and chairman of the Independent Business Network, added: “Our shops and high streets are the beating heart of communities.

“Just like the markets of yesteryear, it is where we meet our friends, do business, share with our families and have our jobs.

“While online is important and has grown in popularity, the coronavirus crisis has shown that we yearn for each other.

“We must support our shops or our communities will die and jobs will go.

“I applaud The Sun on Sunday’s support. We must boost the high street.”

Mike Cherry, national chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “The coronavirus crisis has brought out the best of the great British community spirit.

“Tragedies number in the thousands, our freedoms have been curtailed, and the sacrifice of frontline workers has been immense.

“But, through it all, we’ve kept calm and carried on wherever possible.

“From the herculean efforts of Captain Tom, to clapping for our NHS heroes, to the sea of community volunteers that’s arisen in recent weeks, millions have played a role in helping the nation get through these tough times.

“Small business owners have been no exception.

“Our latest report, New Horizons, shows that more than half of them have been carrying out a community-facing role during the crisis.

“Contributions include changing business models to manufacture PPE, providing key workers with accommodation, and delivering items to vulnerable customers for free.

“And now, as small firms take their first tentative steps towards recovery, they need our help.

“There are currently 5.8million small businesses in the UK, employing 16.5million people, or 60 per cent of our private sector workforce.


“They are at the heart of communities all over the country, creating jobs, growth and social hubs for local people.

“And they’ve been hit incredibly hard by weeks of lockdown.

“That’s why it’s so critical that we all get behind them.”

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