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JEP'S Celebrate Local campaign: ‘We all have a role to play’

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ALL Islanders have a role to play in the Island’s economic recovery, Senator Lyndon Farnham says today as he adds his voice to the call for Islanders to Celebrate Local.

Echoing the message of the JEP's new campaign, the Economic Development Minister has explained why it is crucial that people from all sectors of the Island join the debate about how the economy can be strengthened.

He is particularly keen that States Members, who are an essential link between government and the general population, are at the centre of the conversation, and is due to table a States in-committee debate on the subject to be held in early June.

Senator Lyndon Farnham Picture: ROB CURRIE. (28441587)

‘The measures imposed as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic have emphasised how important our local economy is,’ the Senator said. ‘Because of the measures curtailing the opening of shops and businesses and restricting the movement of people, a great many Island consumers have become much more aware of the traditional sectors of our economy and there is now no better time for local businesses to capitalise on the interest as part of our economic recovery.

‘We want to rebuild the local economy and make it stronger. That aim is at the heart of our recovery programme. Islanders have strong spending power and we should use this time when we have all been forced to re-examine how we live our lives to consider how we spend and review our consumer habits.’

He added that alongside consumers and those running businesses, government also had a key role to play in keeping Jersey pounds in Jersey.

‘The pandemic has made us all re-examine how we lead many aspects of our lives and it is the same for government,’ he said. ‘The government spends a lot of taxpayers’ money in the Island.

‘We will always need to import some expertise and services, and we must get the best value for taxpayers, but we are looking at ways in which we can improve. It is important to keep procurement local and we are looking at how we can keep as much taxpayers’ money in Jersey as possible.

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‘We all have a role to play in this.’

Consumer Council chairman Carl Walker also welcomed the debate.

‘The lead into lockdown, and lockdown itself, resulted in the best and worst of both consumers’ and retailers’ behaviour,’ he said. ‘From the consumers’ perspective, there were some deplorable scenes of totally unnecessary panic buying. Equally, we saw friends, neighbours and overnight community champions putting themselves in harm’s way to help others.

‘We also witnessed some fantastic efforts from local retailers to keep the Island functioning during the crisis, but sadly some attempts to seemingly profiteer or hold consumers to ransom.’

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He added: ‘For this initiative to work, it cannot solely be reliant on consumers spending their pounds in Jersey. Money is tight and every penny counts. And a penny spent in Jersey has far more of an impact on our lives than a penny spent online. But even that persuasive argument won’t be enough for most. Retailers must do their bit too, using this difficult pause to perhaps rethink their approach to give consumers the reason to keep it local.’

On page 9 of today’s edition, business leader Kevin Keen – who during his career has been at the helm of some of Jersey’s best-known local companies and organisations, including Jersey Dairy, Jersey Post, Visit Jersey and the JSPCA – argues that there are many benefits to buying local.

Kevin Keen

He says: ‘Our economy is going to take quite a while to recover from Covid and that is going to impact all Islanders. We can lessen the pain by continuing the fantastic community spirit and purchasing from a local business whenever we can.’

TIME TO CELEBRATE LOCAL: CLICK HERE

Andy Sibcy

By Andy Sibcy
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