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Virtual street market launched for independent traders

Virtual street market launched for independent traders

Independent traders will be selling their wares at an online market, as part of the first Braintree district virtual street market being held next week.

With lockdown now entering its eighth week, the popular monthly street markets in Braintree and upcoming ones in Witham over the summer have had to be cancelled until further notice. Thanks to a new venture organised by Braintree District Council, traders will have a new online outlet to show off their goods and interact with customers.

The market will be held on Facebook next Saturday 30th May, when the next outdoor market was originally going to be held, allowing people to browse a virtual market occupied by local makers and craft businesses.

Traders are being encouraged to post images or videos of their stock, as well as introducing their business, special offers, local deliveries in the area and any positive community stories they have been involved with during the pandemic.

They will then add links to their Facebook page or website and how customers can best contact them. People who wish to buy something will need to contact and organise with the trader direct.

Councillor Tom Cunningham, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “Coronavirus has had a devastating effect on many local independent businesses and is taking us all away from our town centres and high streets. Bringing the street market to our residents and visitors virtually will allow us to recreate a market-like atmosphere for those missing them and create an opportunity to support our local businesses and makers. 

“We don’t want it to be like Facebook Marketplace or eBay - it will be more about giving people a bit of information about traders and their products and special offers, as a way of keeping our street market spirit alive during these unprecedented times.”

Even after the market has “shut up shop” for the day, people will still be able to view items posted by traders and get in touch.

Before lockdown it was announced that the Braintree Street Market would be back for its third year on the last Saturday of every month up until Christmas. The street markets have had to be cancelled until further notice following the government guidance.

To join the Facebook event, visit the link: www.facebook.com/events/254036849272368/