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The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) is delighted to announce that it has awarded funding to a campaign called ‘Buy Local South East’, which will support the local food and drink sector across Essex, Kent and Sussex.

The campaign will enhance and improve the economic health of the SELEP area’s food sector through the development of more connected business networks, new business relationships and increased consumer awareness. It will be managed by Produced in Kent, Natural Partnerships CIC in Sussex and Rural Community Council of Essex, harnessing a wealth of experience across the rural and food and drink sectors.

Growers, producers, retailers and hospitality outlets in the three counties will benefit from tailored regional marketing campaigns, including virtual campaign launches and social media and press exposure. The initiative will also support local food and drink businesses by leading a series of business recovery activities. Businesses will be able to access training, coaching and even one-on-one support to aid their recovery.

Due to the current social distancing guidelines, these industries are in greater need of a robust online presence and a way of connecting to showcase their products as we move to a more digital society. To map assets across the SELEP region, boost B2C and B2B sales, and create a regional business network, a new website and regional map will be created to help business growth and employment in the current climate.