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Virtual street market hailed a success, and is back for a second time

Virtual street market hailed a success, and is back for a second time

A virtual street market will be held for a second time to help support the district’s independent market traders, after the first was hailed a great success.

The first virtual street market, hosted by Braintree District Council on Saturday 30th May, received positive feedback from traders and customers, saying it provided a platform to “support small businesses through these times”, and helped drive sales for traders.

The next one will be held on Saturday 27th June, when the next outdoor street market would have been in Braintree, via a public Facebook group that people can join to get updates on what traders are up to.

The virtual street market was introduced by Braintree District Council as a way of providing a platform for the traders to show off their goods and interact with customers while both the Braintree and Witham street markets scheduled for June have been cancelled. This allows customers to browse what is on offer from local makers and craft businesses online instead.

Traders are being encouraged to post images or videos of their stock and a bit about their business in the group on the day, as well as special offers and details of deliveries in the local area. 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: “We came up with the concept of a virtual street market to help showcase our local independent traders and make it easier for them to trade online during the pandemic, so we’re pleased of the fantastic response we received on the first one we hosted. Although the idea was inspired by the challenges of lockdown, we want this new Facebook group to last way beyond the next virtual street market on Saturday 27th June and the pandemic, as a way of keeping in touch with our residents on all things street markets and keeping that community spirit alive.”

Debbie Wilding, who trades as Kiwi Gifts and Home, said: “I wasn't sure what to expect with the virtual market but fortunately I had a few sales and enquiries from it, so I was happy with that. I think it is a great idea from Braintree District Council and will remind people that we are still around and will be back as soon as things are safe to do so.”

To take part on the day and for the latest updates, join the Facebook group: