Time to answer Lancashire's call

When Lancashire Business View launched its ‘Buy It In Lancashire: Bring Back a Billion! campaign the world was a very different place.

The aim was to increase Lancashire’s GDP by £1bn – with anchor institutions and the private sector actively seeking out suppliers in the county and working with them to stimulate growth.

Given Lancashire’s economy at the time was in the region of £30bn we reckoned a 3.5 per cent rise would deliver a £1bn-plus boost.

As publisher Richard Slater said at the time: “It is a simple campaign. We are calling on businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to work harder to keep more money in the county - by spending a little more locally wherever possible.

We are now in very different times. But we believe that call is even more critical today as businesses of all sizes and in all sectors work to meet the massive challenges brought on by the coronavirus crisis.

We will need to all work together in Lancashires recovery. And it is why we are renewing our plea for all businesses, large and small to join with us and make the pledge: “If you can buy it in Lancashire, buy it in Lancashire!”

If every business and every private sector organisation spends a little bit more money here in Lancashire, it will help our economy in its recovery, give our businesses a boost and help protect jobs.

The aim of the campaign remains to bring the county and its business closer together, to get those businesses to seek out local suppliers.

Nasir Kothia is managing director of Blackburn-based eBusiness UK, which has already signed the Buy it in Lancashire pledge, along with scores of other companies.

He says: Since signing up our general policy has been to recruit from Lancashire and buy from Lancashire wherever we possibly can.

We have since transferred our telephone system, broadband, server hardware, printing and vehicles to Lancashire-based businesses.

Having spoken to many of our customers, suppliers, business colleagues and friends, it is clear that pretty much every single business in Lancashire has been hit by this crisis in some way.

However, there is also a general recognition that ‘we will get through this’, and most businesses are working extremely hard to balance today’s clear and present challenges with the need to get through to the other side in a good shape.

Of course it’s not easy, and in some instances the difficulties may be insurmountable, but I strongly believe that if businesses in Lancashire stick together and support each other with some extra TLC, empathy and flexibility, then there will be many more businesses still trading and sustainable when the crisis end… which would be great news all round, and particularly for the Lancashire economy.

For more details of the campaign, its manifesto and how to pledge visit buyitinlancashire.co.uk

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