We could be forgiven for worrying about the future of Barrow's high street as arguably the UK's oldest department store closed its doors for the final time after 109 years.

Covid has managed to indiscriminately touch everyone regardless of age or social standing and every business no matter how big or small.

One thing it has shown us is the importance of community. If we want to have a high street to be proud of then we must put our money where out mouth is and vote with our feet.

Barrow has some of the very best independent traders many offering bargains to rival those of online retailers.

It's clear if a retailing giant like M&S can't make it work there are tough times ahead for all businesses.

But if we come together and make a conscious decision to shop local and talk up our local high street instead of putting it down we can achieve big things.

As Covid proved we all have a part to play in making our community great. If we harness that unity into something positive our economy would prosper.

Here at The Mail we are doing what we can to help local firms spread their messages of diversification and 'we're open for business'. If you know a business that needs support email news.em@neewsquest.co.uk