Christmas is coming in August – at least for businesses in Huddersfield and across the North of England and there’ll be a big Christmas party fundraiser at a venue in Lindley.
The Northern Affinity has launched a campaign to encourage businesses across the North to celebrate Christmas 2020 in August as it strives to help the hospitality industry and independent businesses bounce back.
Declaring August 16-22 as ‘Northern Christmas Week’, the firm is inviting businesses and individuals across the North to show their support by hosting a virtual or safe face-to-face Christmas event.
Businesses will also be able to register their services on a special Christmas directory which those getting involved and hosting events will be able to use to find suppliers, entertainment and venues.
Michael Edwards, founder of The Northern Affinity, said it’s the boost that both businesses and individuals need after missing out on Christmas 2020.
“While we were able to party over Zoom last Christmas, our hospitality industry faced over £700 million in losses from a lack of Christmas office parties alone. And let’s not even talk about the biggest annual decline of retail sales on record that happened in 2020,” he said.
“Due to the restrictions of lockdown and the worry of catching Covid-19, many businesses quite rightly didn’t hold their annual Christmas parties, which not only affected the events industry, but also employees’ abilities to strengthen their relationships with their colleagues.
“There are many business owners continuing to work from home who run the risk of further isolation as their partners and children return to home and school.
“Encouraging safe attendance to events will reduce this risk significantly, and official events held by organisations are a much safer way to bring people together and be controlled from a health and safety perspective. That’s why we created this campaign,” he added.
Throughout Northern Christmas Week, The Northern Affinity be collaborating with several small independent businesses to host their own events appropriate for a summer Christmas.
On August 18 – the official ‘Northern Christmas Day’ – the firm will host its own Christmas party at Manor House in Lindley for its partners and their guests, as well as interested northerners.
Michael said: “As the economy begins to reopen, we don’t want to witness a sudden return to using large suppliers and or a shift of business going South, so we want to showcase the skillsets and quality of businesses within the North to help our economy bounce back.
“We need to keep the community spirit alive that was demonstrated throughout lockdown and #mynorthernchristmas is a way we can join together to raise awareness and support this mission.”
To ensure that the vulnerable don’t miss out, part of the ticket sales for the event will be donated to Simon on the Streets and used to provide homeless people with a warm Christmas dinner.
The meal itself will be filmed by Simon on the Streets and streamed to attendees of The Northern Affinity Christmas Party, where CEO Natalie Moran will also deliver a heart-warming speech about the important work done by the charity.
Those who don’t purchase a ticket will also be able to donate a Christmas dinner via the Simon on the Streets website from mid-July.
Natalie Moran, CEO at Simon on the Streets, said: “Sadly homelessness is not going away, indeed we are seeing more and more cases being referred to us across West Yorkshire.
“As an independent charity we want to ensure we remain ‘out there’ to meet the increasing demand we know is inevitable over the next 12 months.”
The Northern Affinity, a partner of The Northern Powerhouse, is a business community powering growth and development in the north. To find out more about its aims, please visit www.thenorthernaffinity.co.uk.