Chancellor Rishi Sunak has urged the nation to get behind their high streets as retail opens back up after the coronavirus-forced lockdown.
Sunak made the call as he met business owners who are opening their doors for the first time in more than two months.
He said getting the public back out shopping safely would be crucial in kick-starting the economy and encouraged people across the country to support their local high street.
The chancellor explained: “Our much-loved high streets are a cornerstone of the British way of life, providing jobs up and down the country. At this critical moment in our country’s history, it’s essential that we show them our support as they open their doors again.”
Adding: “It’s going to take a national effort to help the economy recover from the virus. So, I urge people across the country to back local business and shop safely.”
As well as the job retention scheme, which has protected more than 9 million jobs, the government has introduced a range of other measures to support people and businesses through the pandemic, including bounce back loans, tax deferrals and business rates holidays.