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Council boosts shopping portal 'Virtual Horsham' for all remote ordering

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02 Feb 2021


The Virtual Horsham online purchasing portal will now add independent businesses offering all forms of remote ordering for collection or home delivery from week commencing 8 February in a fresh agreement between Horsham District Council and developers, Visit Horsham.

This will make the portal even more useful as the place to conveniently buy locally across the District.

This latest development responds to the latest lockdown and recognizes that there are many businesses needing assistance that have not got a full online purchasing system set up. The agreement between the Council’s Economic Development team and Visit Horsham also extends the window for free profiles for independents by another three months taking the Covid related offer right up until the end of August 2021.

All food and drink businesses on the portal have to be properly certificated and be registered with the Council for their hygiene rating.

The Virtual Horsham initiative forms part of the Council's Buy Local campaign which is supporting local traders that have continued to work tirelessly throughout the pandemic to deliver vital services for local people.

The overall Buy Local campaign highlights how local traders have adapted to support public health guidelines, putting enhanced measures in place to keep their customers and staff safe.

Businesses not able to open their premises have adapted their services to provide efficient online buying processes such as click and collect, phone order and collect, message order and collect and home deliveries, and this enhanced Virtual Horsham portal will enable easier access to these businesses.

The Buy Local campaign encourages local people to choose local suppliers either online or in person, as this helps to support a whole network of other local people behind the scenes.

Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for Finance, the Local Economy and Parking Cllr Paul Clarke explained:

"Choosing to buy your goods or take-aways from our many fantastic independent businesses is a really good way to support a circular economy.

Every time you buy local you are helping a whole network of suppliers and tradespeople, keeping local jobs open for local people.

"I would encourage as many of you as possible to access the Virtual Horsham shopping portal and buy local as much as you possibly can.

"Buying local is also good for the local environment, reducing our District's carbon footprint – so it’s a win-win all round."

Cllr Paul Clarke, Cabinet Member for Finance, the Local Economy and Parking

Visit Horsham owner, Gavin Hewins is excited by this further extension of their services supporting the local business community saying:

“We are keen to build on the early success of the Virtual Horsham Shopping and Services portal that we created with the Council in October.

“The site currently features nearly 100 businesses across the District and has received over 50,000 customer visits. This update adds to its value in the latest lockdown and offers the community a truly one stop directory to keep their online and remote purchasing local.

I encourage as many local businesses as possible to join the portal and take advantage of the Council’s free sponsored profiles

Gavin Hewin, Visit Horsham owner

For more information visit the Virtual Horsham website:

Visit Virtual Horsham

For media information please email press@horsham.gov.uk