THESE are difficult and, for some, absolutely terrible times.

They are unprecedented in our lifetime.

But we will get through the coronavirus pandemic and that will happen by working together and helping each other.

In that spirit, today The Argus begins its Backing Sussex Business campaign. The city and the rest of Sussex needs to come out of this crisis fighting. The fantastic businesses we have must be given every chance to survive.

They are getting support from the Government and many have already thought up new and innovative ways to keep trading. This has to be done in a responsible way, of course, with social distancing vitally important as we work to stop the spread of Covid-19.

We want to highlight the selfless work already being carried out by the likes of Brighton restaurants Buddies and Donatello handing food out to the needy.

And we also want to shine a light on those, again like Buddies, who continue to trade and do what they can to keep people safely in work.

We will hear about The Bevy pub and how it is getting food out to people who are at risk and vulnerable and who need to stay at home and self isolate where possible.

Brighton taxi service City Cabs, for example, has offered to help those struggling to get groceries. Its drivers will go out to the shops for customers and deliver groceries within an hour. The firm continues to offer NHS workers a 20 per cent discount.

Earlier this week we pledged we would always be #ThereWithYou. Today, we are extending our support to our business community. We pledge to back our local, independent and family-run businesses, doing what we can to help them through this difficult time. And we are calling on our readers to join us.

Let’s highlight the positive things going on in our community. Let’s shout proudly and loudly about the local businesses which are still open in Sussex.

Today we highlight the work of Franco Zitoli and his team at Franco’s Osteria, a pizza and pasta restaurant in Victoria Terrace, Hove. He is offering meals to elderly and vulnerable people in isolation including people in a care home.

Today we are asking readers – and businesses that can – to help us in our campaign.

Editor Arron Hendy said: “What we are beginning to see now is the best in people.

“These are stressful and frightening times. It all still feels like a bad dream. It is hard for businesses who need to keep going so that they can thrive again when we have beaten the coronavirus. To be honest it is hard for The Argus and all newspapers too, but it is vital that we continue to get the information out there that people desperately need at this time.

“There is so much on social media and the internet. But we are bringing the latest information together, as we have done for 140 years now, from scientists, doctors, our councils and the Government. When people are expressing their opinion, it is clearly described as such and not dressed up as fact.

“We must continue to champion businesses too. If you have any examples of a business going above and beyond, then please get in touch by calling 01273 021370 or emailing”

Our sales team continues to work during the pandemic.

Tina Daniels, sales manager, said: “We are best placed to lead on this campaign as we reach a huge percentage of the local population.

“As this crisis develops the local communities we serve will continue to rely on us to keep them informed.

“We have already seen a significant increase in traffic to The Argus website and we will ensure that we are really banging the drum for independent and family owned businesses and encouraging our loyal readership to show their support by shopping local. “Any business which wants to be featured in our campaign should get in touch.

“I have also instructed my team to reach out to these businesses over the coming days and make them aware of our campaign. Many of these businesses have supported us for several years by advertising their products and services within our titles and at this time it is appropriate we show our support.

“If any other businesses would like to come on board as a partner I urge them to reach out to me directly.”

Readers can support the campaign by using the hashtag #BackingSussexbusiness.

You can support a local business which has gone above and beyond, or tell us about the ways your business is coping. For more information about supporting this campaign, email for news or for sales.

For information on how City Cabs can help you call them on 01273 205205 for more details.