Big Issue sellers are urging the public to support them by buying the magazine as the streets empty of Christmas shoppers and commuters due to Covid.
While Christmas would usually be the busiest time of year for the self-employed magazine sellers, earning them much-needed income during the coldest and most difficult time of the year, customers are this year staying at home to avoid becoming infected with the new Omicron variant of coronavirus.
“Our vendors have no choice but to ‘work from home’ on the streets, which are, once again, quieter and present less of an opportunity to earn their way out of trying circumstances to a more promising future,” said Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue.
“The rule change means sales are down, it’s been empty in the last few days and it should be the busiest time of year,” said “Suggs” Macklin, a Big Issue vendor, who sells the magazine in central London.
Another vendor, Sam Woodlock, added: “It’s not great just before Christmas. Since people have been told to work from home, they’re doing what they’re told and there’s no one out here. The fact is Big Issue vendors can’t work from home. If you can support your local vendor, please do.”