Support your local shops to help secure their futures

Vital to plan together in case disaster should strike

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The burgeoning popularity of internet shopping and the double-dip recession have naturally had an adverse impact on independent traders across our area.

But far from resting on their laurels, businesses across Portsmouth and south east Hampshire are working tirelessly to do all they can to offer consumers a satisfying shopping experience – and secure the futures of our high streets and arcades.

Tomorrow marks the second annual Small Business Saturday and traders across the area are armed with a wealth of pre-Christmas deals and special offers to entice people into local stores.

Yes, at times it may seem easier to order goods online from high street chains in the comfort of our own armchairs.

But while we are bemoaning the number of boarded up shops in our high streets, surely it is important to remember that we can all play a valuable role – however large or small – in helping to stop or even reverse that trend and ensure that instead they thrive.

And since when did the fact that something is ‘mass produced’ constitute ‘better?’

Of course, high street chains have their positives and many remain hugely successful with hundreds of branches across the nation.

But for that something a little bit different, something unique, our independent traders are the place to go.

Local councils and shopping centres are on board and many areas are offering free parking for the day.

So today we issue a rallying cry to readers to take a step back from surfing the web for the latest deals and take a trip to stores and arcades run by local traders instead.

We make the call as part of our ongoing Shop Local campaign which backs businesses in our area.

Whether you spend a little or a lot, we know that showing your support for independent traders will help to deliver a much-needed boost to the local economy and make their day.

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