INDEPENDENT and family-run businesses in Essex need customers’ support more than ever as Covid-19 hits trade.

The Gazette is urging people to shop local and support independent businesses in any way they can, including sharing their stories about local businesses and the efforts they make to serve customers during the crisis.

Many shops, businesses and restaurants in the county are already suffering from a significant drop in takings.

They are urging customers to support them by buying products online and getting goods delivered to their homes.

Clacton-based zero waste shop Unsealed, located in The Grove in the town centre, has already launched a home delivery service for residents stuck in lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Mother and daughter team, Zoe Tipple and Kayleigh Seal, opened the shop in December to give environmentally-minded shoppers the chance to limit their reliance on single-use plastics.

They offer the opportunity to bring re-useable vessels to buy dried loose foods, cleaning products and other items.

Kayleigh said: “We are totally behind this campaign - it’s so important that people support local businesses.

“In line with the advice to only venture out when essentially necessary, we are revising our opening hours to 9am to 3pm Monday to Saturday and further limiting the amount of people allowed in the shop at any time to a maximum of two.

“We are more than happy to deliver in the area or pre-pack orders for collection where possible.

“We have lots of things in stock. People can keep safe by avoiding crowded supermarkets.

“We are here for our community and people’s continued support is greatly appreciated.”

Readers can support the campaign by using the hashtag #BackingEssexbusiness. You can shout out a local business which has gone above and beyond, or tell us about the ways your business is coping.

For more information about supporting the campaign, email