Back in April, when we were under serious lockdown, and virtually all local shops were shut, a couple of local ladies, Amanda Pearce and Nicola Johnson, had the excellent idea to run an online raffle: It would generate income for local business and offer prizes for people to look forward to after lockdown.
In total they sold over £17,000-worth of tickets, with all the money invested in future prizes from local businesses.
As well as generating income for local independent businesses, it was a great reminder of all the wonderful independent shops in Forest Hill, Honor Oak, Crofton Park and Brockley. With hundreds of people entering the raffle to win random prizes, it was heart-warming to see such community spirit during the toughest of times.
Daily publicity for these businesses occurred via social media and provided information about which shops were gradually able to reopen.
Sadly, not all shops have been able to continue after lockdown, and we have seen a few businesses, such as Rob’s Barbers, not reopening since lockdown, and the Dartmouth Arms closing its doors.
The raffle, and the shop closures, are an important reminder that local independent businesses only survive if we use them.
Full disclosure: I won a voucher for drinks at Subplot 57, the bar underneath Leaf & Groove that has a newly opened garden space.