THE Salisbury Journal is launching a campaign today to support businesses that have been hit by the intense security activity surrounding the nerve agent attack on a Russian former spy and his daughter.

With concerns across the city that visitors are staying away we want to remind people that Salisbury is Open for business and we are promoting the hashtag #SalisburyisOpen which is already getting traction on Twitter.

Social media has been full of concern from local retailers and service providers who believe that potential visitors are not getting a true picture of the day-to-day access they still have to normal trading.

Among them Harnham Physio who tweeted: “The shops of #TheMaltings are open and are really suffering as it has been deserted down there. Apparently they have only really seen reporters seeking stories lately. Please support them. Buy even the tiniest items to support these @SalisburyIndies in desperate need of trade.”

This week the Journal will be creating a page full of messages from just some of those businesses still ready to be at service to visitors.

The Journal sent a mail shot out yesterday morning to ask businesses to send their support with a message about who they are and responses were in the double figures within the hour.

Bill Browne, publisher of the Journal, said: “We have been leading the way in telling local people about all the twists and turns of this bizarre story, but at the same time we have not lost focus this is having a very real impact on those who depend on trade in this town for their livelihoods.

“We are inviting readers, business people and anyone we can reach to share the Salisbury is Open message with as many people as possible.

“It is still perfectly possible to shop, eat, meet friends, do business, go to the gym, get a taxi, visit the Cathedral and so much more.

“This is the first stage in our campaign. We are delighted to join forces with Salisbury Business Improve District with their efforts and invite all those who can assist to come aboard.”

Our partners include Salisbury Business Improvement District, who have been busy on social media promoting all those who are encouraging shoppers to head their way. They’ve also been strategically distributing chalk boards with the Salisbury Is Open message around the city.

Meanwhile they are also preparing to help those who are in the area feeling the biggest impact.

Robin McGowan, chief executive of Salisbury BID, said: “My team and I at Salisbury BID are working hard behind the scenes to put a plan into place to support the affected businesses for when normality does resume.

"We would like to encourage any of our members to contact us on 01722 658 000 if their business has been affected by this incident, and we will do our best to assist wherever possible."

If you think you have something to add to the #SalisburyisOpen campaign email And if you own a business or offer an attraction to Salisbury don’t forget to sign up for our message page by clicking here.