Coronavirus: Businesses across Portsmouth, Gosport, Fareham and Havant urge people to #supportlocal

BUSINESSES across the area, that have been forced into offering takeaway services and voucher schemes to survive amid the coronavirus outbreak are urging people to support them.

Thursday, 26th March 2020, 6:00 am

To limit the spread of Covid-19, government guidelines mean many restaurants, pubs and shops have had to shut their doors.

But in a bid to keep going and support their communities, across Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Waterlooville and surrounding areas, many are offering takeaway services or vouchers for future use.

Maria Payter runs Trinity’s at The Lightship and at Haslar in Gosport and was devastated to close her doors to the public but she and her team have put together a takeaway menu, designed specifically for the elderly.

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New restaurant, Fuegos Street Food has opened in London Road, North End, Portsmouth on 18th February 2020 Pictured: Staff, Mohammed Kibria, Mohammed Alaaya, Mohammed Tafimus and Ahmed Eishwiarad. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Maria told The News: ‘Shutting the doors is of course the right thing to do but I had elderly customers crying down the phone to me because they were worried about what they were going to eat as they couldn’t get out to the shops because of self-isolation.

‘We are offering takeaway to anyone that needs it but we did this menu specifically to bring comfort to our older customers and we are making sure we can deliver to them as well.

‘I hope people get behind local businesses because it is a worrying time for everyone. I do think it has brought everyone closer together as a community because everyone just wants to help which has been so nice to see at a time like this.’

George Purnell, from Waterlooville owns Koop + Kraft on London Road, Cowplain, which is running a takeaway service.

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He said: ‘We’re doing it for the NHS and the community.

‘There are some people who are working hard on the front line who can’t always get what they want in supermarkets so there are takeaways there for them.

‘Also if someone has a routine where they go out for dinner on the weekend, then they can have a bit of normality in their lives still.’

Staff at the restaurant's sister company, Prepped by Koop, delivered 150 healthy meals to QA last week.

New restaurant, Fuegos Street Food has opened in London Road, North End, Portsmouth on 18th February 2020 Pictured: One of Fuegos signature dishes, Garlic Dome Bread. Picture: Habibur Rahman

George said: ‘It was so they had a healthy option so they’re not just eating rubbish food and they're getting something that would help them get through their shift.’

Fuego's Street Food in London Road, North End, which is open offering takeaway options, also prepared meals to give to hospital staff.

Manager Mohammed Tafimuz said: ‘Being in the position we are in of running a fast food restaurant, it was obvious to us how we could help just a little, by giving out free food.

‘It's tough times for everybody as we know, even for us as a newly opened business, but people come first. We hope to be able to give more to the wonderful NHS staff, just to make things a little easier or even put a little smile on their faces during their shift.’

Meon Valley Butchers in The Square, Wickham, reopened on Tuesday, January, 7 after a refurbishment. Pictured is: (l-r) Michelle Novak, baker, Ben Sawyers, owner, and Rob Holbrooke, delivery driver and support. Picture: Sarah Standing (070120-4562)

Ben Sawyer from Meon Valley Butchers, who is offering a selection of meat box options, said: ‘For us it is about supporting those in need as much as possible. I feel really strongly about looking after those in the community in which I work hence why I am offering free delivery to all and trying to help as many people as I can. The response has been incredible and we hope to continue to help as many people for as long as we can.'

Ross McNally, CEO of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, is calling for people to support local firms while they can.

He said: ‘Businesses of all sizes and sectors are undergoing tremendous challenges at this time. We appreciate the Government has put in place a good number of support programmes and this funding needs to reach businesses as soon as possible. There can be no better time than now, and over the coming months, to support our local businesses. In particular the self-employed are seeing their livelihoods vanish and support for them in whatever way possible is vital to their future.’

The News and its sister titles across JPI Media are urging the public to #supportlocal and we want to hear how you are supporting businesses local to you and if you run a business tell us what you are doing and how we can support you.

To get in touch please email our business reporter on [email protected]

Koop + Kraft in London Road, Cowplain, have launched a new healthy meal prep service called Prepped. Pictured is: George Purnell, owner of Koop + Kraft. Picture: Sarah Standing (170220-7971)