British expats in Spain join to help those in distress due to the pandemic

Published:  4 May at 6 PM
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British expats in Spain are saving not only their local businesses but also pitching in to help struggling families and the elderly.

British expat communities all along Spain’s Mediterranean coastline as well as in the interior are banding together to support their local stores as well as those who’re struggling to afford basic necessities. The effect of the pandemic and its lockdowns has been brutal, but expat retailers are doing all they can to soften its effect on the needy as well as on many much-loved local businesses. Solidarity is good for business and it’s even better for the communities of expats and locals in these popular regions.

The Costa Blanca town of Benijofar could have become a ghost town had both Spaniards and British expat residents not travelled miles to buy their necessities in the four shops which are still open. Hamilton’s International Butchers, Wilkins’ Supermarket, The Post Room and Hamilton’s Bake House supported each other by referring customers and advertising all four rather than just one, with the strategy working thanks to the strong community spirit. Expat solidarity is the name of the game, and has given the four British-owned businesses the ability to stay open and serve the community.

In Almeria, the lockdown has caused the loss of many jobs as well as leaving households in a very vulnerable state, reliant on food banks and the generosity of the region’s expat communities. The Spanish Red Cross is active in the area, receiving donations as well as financial aid from associations such as Dames in Spain and the Vera and District Lions Club. Shoppers in local stores are being asked to buy extra items and donate them by leaving them in a trolley next to the checkout.

The above and much more is being organised worldwide wherever expats congregate, with the simple wish to help those in need in these unprecedented times. Online comments suggest the planet won’t ever be the same as it was before the pandemic took hold, with many believing there’s a real chance to rebuild a society which cares more for its people than for its bank accounts.
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