PLEDGE to spend money in your high street to keep independent businesses alive and thriving.
This is the call to Southsea’s shoppers after a ward councillor set up a website inviting residents to pledge their support to safeguard the district’s future.
Following a string of burglaries and break-ins across Southsea and the continuous rise of online shopping, Councillor Linda Symes has launched ‘Shop Local Southsea.’
The website asks residents to back shops, restaurants and cafes by pledging to do their shopping in Southsea.
Explaining the scheme, Cllr Symes said that it was in reaction to her experiences of visiting other run-down high streets in the south.
‘I have seen high streets where there are row after row of empty shops,’ she said.
Here in Southsea, we have a vibrant mix of local independent traders and businesses and our high street is really thriving.Councillor Linda Symes, ward councillor for St Jude
‘Here in Southsea, we have a vibrant mix of local independent traders and businesses and our high street is really thriving.
‘However, online shopping is only getting more immersive and it won’t be long before people can get anything they want online without having to use their high streets at all.
‘For me, it is all about the experience and given the recent spate of crimes we’ve had in Southsea over the last year, it is clear they need our support for the future.
‘The more people that pledge and get involved, the better.’
Southsea Rock in Marmion Road was one of a handful of businesses that were burgled during a crime spree this summer.
The shop has its door kicked-in and its till taken.
Owner Linzi Kelly said the scheme would benefit to Southsea traders.
She said: ‘The shops in the area really are amazing offering a whole host of stuff to shoppers.
‘This kind of scheme could help provide us with support as it really knocks your confidence when you experience a break-in.
‘You have to work harder and longer to help get things back in order to deal with the aftermath and that can take months.’
Well-known Italian restaurant Soprano’s in Palmerston Road was dealt a blow on Christmas Day last year when burglars stole more than £1,500 of alcohol, cash and CDs.
Tommy Peters, joint-owner of the restaurant said: ‘As a restaurant that has been here for 18 years, we have been hugely supported by the community otherwise we would not be here.
‘We would support any initiative that seeks to assist Southsea’s businesses. We are in all in it together as an area and we all seek to help each other out.
‘There is a real sense of community amongst Southsea’s businesses.’
To pledge your support to the initiative, head to shoplocalsouthsea.co.uk.