Shoppers targeted by High Street campaign
NORTH Somerset shoppers will be targeted by a campaign to halt the decline of the district’s High Streets and sustain independent local businesses.
Small Change for Big Change will encourage people to spend more at their local shops rather than buying everything from one, convenient supermarket or out-of-town centre.
Organised by the Federation of Small Businesses, the campaign will run in Nailsea, Clevedon, Portishead and surrounding villages from September 19-25 when people will be asked to sign a pledge confirming they will spend some of their weekly budget with local independent shops and traders, farmers markets and farm shops.
Steve Sharp, campaign organiser and owner of Dart Digital in Clevedon’s Hill Road, said: “Because of the convenience, most of us do all our shopping in one store at one time, so we are using the big supermarkets more and our local High Street less.
“Supermarkets are increasing their offering and starting to provide all kinds of services that were previously only available from specialists.
“Local traders are finding they simply can’t compete and are sadly, being driven out.
“A couple of pounds spent each week at the local greengrocer’s or butchers instead of the supermarket could be the difference between those shops staying open and being forced to shut.”
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Numerous shops and businesses are getting behind the campaign and it is also hoped North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox will back it.
Sue Frazer-Cann at Indulgence in Hill Road, Clevedon, said: “We need local people to support all of the local shops in the whole of Nailsea, Clevedon and Portishead and not just depend on supermarkets.
“Even if a few more people came in everyday that would make a huge difference.
“Independent traders offer a much more personal service compared to larger supermarkets.”
Sandy McDonald, owner of the clothing, accessories and furniture shop, Beautiful, in Nailsea’s High Street said: “It is absolutely imperative that independent shops keep going.
“If we don’t have the support we will go out of business. We want people to realise how hard we work and how important it is to support us before we do lose out.”
Posters will soon go up in shops throughout North Somerset and pledges will also be available to sign. Anyone who signs a pledge will be entered into a draw to win �200 worth of locally-produced food.
* To find out how to get involved in Small Change for Big Change contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org