Shoppers urged to help small businesses in Clitheroe survive the coronavirus crisis

Working from home, self-isolation, cancelled sports events and a ban on mass gatherings may help mitigate the coronavirus crisis, but it also threatens to devastate small businesses.

Clitheroe traders have issued a plea to customers to support local shops through this difficult time, while taking appropriate precautions and following official advice

Ribble Valley businessman Kevin Horkin MBE, said: "Everyone knows that our high streets are in crisis up and down the country and around the globe. We, in Clitheroe, have generally suffered a slight decline in footfall, however, the people of the Ribble Valley are resilient and seem to be out and about. People are taking everything in their stride. People of the Ribble Valley are loyal and I am confident our customers will do the best they can to support local businesses."

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Similar concerns were shared by Ian Sowerbutts, of Sowerbutts Furniture. He said: "All businesses are facing unprecedented circumstances, but businesses in Clitheroe are resilient and adaptable and will rise to the challenge. Customers can help support Clitheroe businesses by shopping locally."

Kevin Horkin MBE is asking local people to show their support during these difficult times

Clitheroe Chamber of Trade president, Owen Phillips, is inviting all local traders to attend the AGM on Thursday. He commented: "Please attend the AGM at 6pm on Thursday at The Swan and Royal Hotel and we can discuss how to keep going throughout the pandemic."

Meanwhile, anyone wishing to keep fit will be glad to hear Roefield Leisure Centre is operating as normal during the coronavirus outbreak, but with extra hygiene measures. Speaking to the Clitheroe Advertiser, manager David Potts, said: "It's business as usual at Roefield. We are currently operating as normal with the appropriate hygiene safety measures in place as per advice from the Government, NHS and Public Health England. We will continue to monitor the situation and take any appropriate steps as and when necessary."

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However, Citizens Advice Ribble Valley has to close it doors to stop the spread of COVID-19, but is asking people to continue to use the service by telephone.

Manager, Katy Marshall, explained: "It is important to protect people from coming into contact with anyone carrying the virus, and it is impossible to tell who has it, so to be cautious we need to stop all our face to face contact. The majority of our clients have health problems and we are aware how vulnerable they would be if they caught this illness. Citizens Advice wish to support any one in Ribble Valley facing difficulties at present. In depth information and support on benefits, debt and a wide range of legal issues is offered as usual. Appointments can be arranged to deal with the matter by telephone.The service is available on 01200 427336 every Monday, Tuesday or Thursday."