A talented Suffolk entrepreneur has turned her family’s experience of Covid-19 self-isolation, into the inspiration for a crucial county-wide resource for the pandemic period.
Nina Christensen, a digital marketing specialist, has launched Shop Suffolk – a comprehensive website detailing all the county’s shops and services who are very much ‘open for business’, despite the unprecedented chapter in UK history.
Shop Suffolk features stores throughout the county who are offering home delivery and takeaway options, and businesses who have taken their learning or wellbeing services online as a response to the pandemic.
Listed so far are businesses such as Suffolk Food Hall, Focus Organic, Hank’s Deli, Grange Farm Shop, Maypole Pork, Suffolk Babies, Woodbridge Emporium, Powters, Hall Farm Butchers and The Cake Shop Bakery.
Categories on the site include: Doorstep Delivered, Still Open, Collection, Takeaway, Online Shop, Online Classes.
The website offers various tiers of listing option for businesses, and the opportunity for other East Anglian companies to ‘sponsor’ the initiative as supportive partners.
Nina, 37, said: “The idea was born from a conversation with my parents, who are self-isolating in rural Suffolk and had found terrible trouble trying to access home deliveries.
“As a family, we’ve always done our best to support the smaller local businesses as part of our weekly shopping, so not to be able to access these as a result of self-imposed lockdown, or to be unaware of which ones might be operating and providing home delivery, means many local enterprises could be missing out on custom.
“Because I run my own digital marketing business, it seemed an obvious opportunity to use my skills to create something which no doubt lots of people in the county need right now.”
Despite the government advising in recent weeks of the availability of business grants and loans, many of the county’s stores and services are already feeling the impact and are concerned about sustaining themselves in the coming months.
Shop Suffolk is seeking to keep the names of those companies visible, and to give them every opportunity to survive through this challenging period, and then thrive once more when the country resumes normal patterns of living and trading.
“Unfortunately, none of us know how long we are likely to be in this situation, but all the speculation suggests it could be several more months,” added Nina.
“With that in mind, it makes sense to help our local companies and services through these difficult times, and give them every opportunity to have a platform to springboard from when things to start to return to some kind of normality.”
For more information about listing on Shop Suffolk, or to support the site as a partner, email Nina on email@example.com.
The website can be found at www.shopsuffolk.co.uk.