Business owners in a market town have embarked on holding their own markets to help them survive.
Cafe and restaurant owners in Retford have arranged their own independent market days to help small businesses who may not be able to afford a stall on the annual market day.
There is currently one official Christmas market day in town, hosted by the Retford Business Forum along with the lighting of Christmas lights.
Rebecca Cross, who runs the Glasshouse restaurant at Jubilee Courtyard with Jayne Ralton, has organized independent markets outside the restaurant where Retford companies can participate.
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“The reason we decided to take our own was a reflection of last Christmas restrictions where companies and people could not enjoy festivities as they normally would,” she said.
“With the lifting of restrictions, we thought it would be a great opportunity for small businesses working from home or online to showcase and promote their products.
“We are grateful for the support we have received, so we thought it would be a great opportunity to take part in it.”
She added: “We are all still recovering from the various shutdowns and if companies have the opportunity to host a market, they should take advantage of it.
“It helps to give people the Christmas spirit we all want at this time of year.
“And since it’s outdoors, we do not have to worry about ventilation, and that can be safe.”
While she felt it would be nice to see a larger Christmas market, the restaurant owner added that she appreciated the price.
“It would be great to see more of the market, but we are aware of the bigger picture,” she said.
“There is a lot going on in the planning of the event, with road closures and public safety.”
The next market in Glashuset will be on Saturday 11 December.
The management at Glasshouse are not the only business owners holding their own market days in the city.
From August to December, Aaron Boyt, who runs the Leaky Teacup cafe at Bridgegate Center, hosts a number of weekly markets in the cafe.
He said: “We do it to help support other small businesses.
“We invite small businesses to join, which generally do not reach a market.
“It costs £ 30 to rent a table for the Christmas market in town and I know from when I started a business there is a lot of money to put down.
“Saturday is generally a quieter night for most businesses, so we turned around and offered them our tables. We now have a list of about 12 businesses that often have stalls in the store.”
Sir. Boyt said the city would benefit from a wider range of theme markets along with the bi-weekly markets that take place.
He added: “I think more markets and bigger market days would do wonders for the whole city.
“I would like to see a market that is not only in the square, but which was scattered around the shops.
“It would also be great to see a larger Christmas market on a larger scale.
“Something like a traditional German market would be nice to see in the city.”
He added: “If the Christmas market took place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it would give any business a chance to take advantage of it.
“There is not enough space in one day.”
A spokesman for the Retford Business Forum said the group is always receptive to practical proposals for ‘continued improvement’ of the market and the light-on event.
He added: “RBF is working in partnership with North Notts BID, Bassetlaw District Council and local individuals and businesses to support Retford this Christmas.
“We are holding the next of our regular Christmas planning team meetings on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at 7pm via Microsoft Teams, and anyone who can support the Christmas trading period and who would like to join our team of volunteers will be very welcome to take part.”
The next market will take place on November 27, 2022.
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