The Countdown to Christmas campaign, which is being led by Chichester District Council, originally aimed to encourage people to shop local, visit local and support local. However, due to the national restrictions introduced by the Government, the initial stage of the campaign will focus on encouraging people who may be planning to buy gifts during November to support local businesses offering a selection of unique and beautiful gifts, by using their delivery and click and collect services, and to support local deliveries and takeaways. Once the restrictions are lifted and businesses can reopen their doors, the second stage of the campaign will shine a light on the many reasons to visit and shop in one of the district's fantastic High Streets.

Building on the success of last year's campaign, the council has produced personalised illustrated gift tags for the city and each of the towns to help promote the unique Christmas gifts and experiences the district has to offer. It is intended that when the restrictions are lifted, the gift tags will be handed out by a range of businesses when people purchase gifts. Residents and visitors can also download them from .

Businesses and shoppers are being encouraged to post pictures of their gifts and local services with one of the following hashtags:







The gift tag designs will be used to promote the campaign on social media — and people will also be able to celebrate their local town or city, or the district, by applying one of the campaigns personalised Facebook frames to their profile picture.

"Our local businesses and attractions have had an incredibly challenging year and they really need everybody's support," says Councillor Tony Dignum, Cabinet Member for Growth, Place and Regeneration at Chichester District Council. "By using local businesses, you can make a huge difference, and so our campaign is all about urging people to 'support local' this Christmas.

"All of our fantastic High Streets in Chichester, Petworth, Midhurst, Selsey and East Wittering are looking forward to welcoming you when the restrictions are lifted. Many of them also offer click and collect and delivery services, providing a range of unique and beautiful gifts, including locally sourced products that you can't find anywhere else. Local businesses have everything you need to make Christmas special. Over the coming weeks we will be working with our partners to highlight those businesses that are still operating online or offering a click and collect or delivery service,  and encouraging people to support them.

"All we ask is that you please take care and continue to keep yourself and others safe by following the Government guidance.

"To celebrate our local High Streets and what they have to offer, local businesses are being provided with special Christmas gift tags promoting their area — Chichester, Midhurst, Petworth, East Wittering, or Selsey — that they can give to their customers when they reopen. If you're a local business, you can also request a marketing pack, with social media assets and other tools to promote your business as part of the campaign by visiting our ."

Residents can show their love for Chichester, Midhurst, Petworth, East Wittering, and Selsey by downloading the gift tags from the website and using these on their Christmas gifts. If they have a Facebook account, they can also apply a special frame to their profile picture to show their support for their local businesses.

Chichester District Council has also created an online events calendar so that people can find the most up to date information about local events and activities when the restrictions are lifted.

They are also urging people to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin to find out the most up to date information — and to sign up to their email newsletter to keep up to date with the latest guidance and updates.

Those supporting the campaign include: Visit Chichester, Chichester Business Improvement District (BID), Chichester Chamber of Commerce, Chichester City Council, Midhurst Town Council, Midhurst Town Team CIC, Petworth Town Council, Petworth Business Association, Selsey Town Council, East Wittering and Bracklesham Parish Council, East Wittering Local Business Alliance, Chichester Observer, and the Midhurst and Petworth Observer, and Love Where You Live, to name just a few.

Cllr Dignum adds: "What's great about this campaign is that any organisation can get involved — and even run their own promotions — just by adding the relevant hashtag and graphics to their social media posts. We will be providing the latest updates over the festive period on our website and on our social media sites.

"We would like to thank all of the organisations who are working with us to deliver this campaign to support our High Streets and local businesses. This really is a team effort."

The Countdown to Christmas campaign aims to make people aware of the activities and events that are happening in the district when the national restrictions are lifted, while also encouraging people to support local businesses and keep themselves and others safe. Full details of the campaign can be found at .

Chichester District Council will also be encouraging people to share their special social media e-cards with friends and family. To take part in this, people will need to follow one of Chichester District Council's social media accounts.

Chichester District Council on Facebook

Chichester District Council on Twitter

Chichester District Council on Instagram

Chichester District Council on LinkedIn

Date of release: 9 November 2020

Reference: 3940