People are being urged to shop locally this Christmas in a bid to support Watford's economy as much as possible.

The town's mayor has launched a borough-wide 'Shop Local' campaign which he says highlights the "wealth of excellent businesses" in Watford.

The council's message is designed to help Watford's diverse range of independent shops and hospitality outlets as they continue to fight back against the challenges of the pandemic and the threat of online shopping.

Watford Observer:

Watford Borough Council says footfall in the town has been slowly returning to pre-pandemic levels, with the gap in footfall in Watford this year compared to 2019 the tenth smallest in the UK, according to Ipso Mori's Retail Recovery Index.

But mayor Peter Taylor is keen for the town's residents to throw even my support behind local businesses.

He said: "From popping into a local bakery for a cake, or buying a quirky gift from an independent shop, by shopping locally people can help local business owners and local communities overcome the challenges of the last 20 months. Whether it’s your local grocer, florist or fabric shop, let’s help them have a thriving future."

Watford Observer: Watford mayor Peter Taylor, left, at L'artista restaurant in Watford town centreWatford mayor Peter Taylor, left, at L'artista restaurant in Watford town centre

He added: "For many businesses, Christmas is their busiest time, so it’s really important we support them as much as we can. Shopping local means money is kept in the local economy – supporting jobs and local families.

"So this year, when you are thinking about Christmas presents for friends and family, explore some of the wonderful businesses in the town and their unique products. These businesses are the heart of our community and we need them to still be there for us in the future."