Friday, 29 May 2020
A NEW website allowing shoppers to buy goods directly from Henley retailers has been launched.
The Henley Basket lets customers browse the stock of participating businesses, place orders and collect them or arrange delivery to their homes while observing social distancing rules.
It is being launched by Henley Town Council, which will manage deliveries for traders who cannot do this themselves and is encouraging as many as possible to get involved.
The scheme, which is being supported by a grant from Oxfordshire County Council, is based on one previously launched by the Mayor of Princes Risborough.
So far, more than a dozen businesses are taking part, including Gabriel Machin butchers and Crockers restaurant in Market Place, Magoo’s bar in Hart Street and JK Fish and Chips in King’s Road.
It is free to sign up and the website is open to hospitality businesses which are now selling goods to get through the coronavirus lockdown.
The town council will create each retailer’s listing based on information they provide, including photographs and videos, and this can be edited.
Participants take payment themselves by any method of their choosing and can either carry out their own deliveries or bag them up for the council to drop off. The authority is now seeking volunteers to carry out deliveries.
Town and community manager Helen Barnett said: “More than half of the businesses in Princes Risborough are taking part. They’ve been using it for about three weeks and it has been very successful.
“We’re hoping to get almost all of the retailers involved because they’re doing some very creative things but the whole thing is a bit disjointed. This will be a platform linking everything together.
“Government grants and loans are one thing but getting money into the tills is really important and many businesses are doing that, whether it’s Magoo’s selling pizza and beer or Crockers doing takeaways. The initial response has been very encouraging and I’ll be chasing up everyone we contacted so hopefully more people will be getting on board soon.
“We’re lucky to have a lot of independent businesses which have been quick to change the way they do things and I think recent events will permanently change how people do things. The Henley Basket could still be very useful once the outbreak has passed, although it’s quite a big task to get everyone involved.”
Town and county councillor Stefan Gawrysiak, who used his county councillor’s grant to fund the initiative, said: “This will help traders to stay in business at a very challenging time. I would encourage people to support them because we want them to still be thriving when this is over.”
For more information, visit www.henleybasket.co.uk
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