Support your local, independent shops! That’s the call this week from The Scarborough News as we launch a major new Shop Small campaign.
And Scarborough’s NCP car park in North Street is backing the scheme, offering an extra discount for afternoon shopping.
Our high streets and retail character in towns and villages are facing challenging times – and we can all do our bit to Shop Small, stay local and help keep our shopping areas vibrant.
We will feature information, advertising campaigns and discounts at these stores to boost footfall and help independent stores thrive.
“Many of our local, independent shops are historic and much loved, and collectively employ significant numbers of people,” said Scarborough News editor Ed Asquith.
“We call on shoppers to use and support these local businesses.”
“Throughout this year we will be focusing on retailers and traders and their first-class customer service. We will be running regular features and supplements highlighting all that is good about shopping locally.”
Independent traders in particular pride themselves on getting to know their customers personally and offer unique or different items and service.
Mr Asquith added: “By spending money in locally-owned shops, we will all be backing the local economy – and in turn helping our town.”
The town’s NCP car park already offers a successful early-bird discount if you park before 10am – and it has given its backing to Shop Small, Eat Local with a new deal. On Thursdays and Fridays you can park after 3pm (until 7pm) for just a £2.50 flat charge through the summer. Currently a two to four hour rate is £5.40, so that’s more than a 50 per cent saving.
Steve and Jo Swift of Mainprize Fishmongers, in St Thomas Street, Scarborough, which has been trading in the town for 70 years, are urging people to support the Shop Small, Eat Local campaign.
They said: “If people support the small shops, they are putting something back into their community.
“We are also offering choice.
“Shoppers don’t just want to see what is on every high street. They want something different.
“By buying local you know what you are getting. We source all our own produce from Scarborough Market first thing in the morning, so it travels only a short distance.
“Local shops also bring a sense of community to Scarborough. We have customers that have been coming along for years, and for some we might be the only people they speak to in a day.
“We give a personal touch and we both feel very strongly about that. With local support we look forward to trading for another 70 years.”
Also joining the pledge to highlight the importance of supporting Scarborough’s local shops is John Bedder, of Eat Me @Home in Hanover Road, which is the sister shop of Eat Me Cafe.
Mr Bedder said: “We offer a more personal service.
“We have regulars that come in every week, unlike supermarkets as they won’t necessarily recognise you.
“We are always happy to see people.”
As part of the campaign the Scarborough News took to the streets to gather even more support for our town’s independent retailers.
Graham Baxter, 62, a business owner from Scarborough, said: “We would definitely lend our support to the campaign.
“We buy everything locally and use the indoor market. We get local milk delivered and use local tradesmen.”
Also a supporter of local produce was Catherine Simpson, 35, a primary school teacher from Flixton, who said: “I support local shops because it means everything is all going back into the local economy. My husband owns a business so I would want people to support him.”
Internet bookseller Kate Guyver, 61, from Scarborough, said she tries to support all aspects of local trade.
She said: “We eat out locally and if we can source things here we do.
“It is important to support local businesses instead of going online.”
Alan Mitchell, 63, an accountant from Scarborough, said: “Yes, we support local shops. We’ve got to keep the local community going.
“I get my hair cut at local hairdressers Pauls, in Bar Street.”
Also speaking about their favourite local business, Scarborough pensioner Rita Holmes, 66, said: “Yes, my husband and I have been in business ourselves. Boddy’s in Bar Street is our favourite local coffee shop.”
Support Shop Small, stay local and help keep our high streets the vibrant, well-used places.
Send us your comments in support of local, independent shops. Email firstname.lastname@example.org