Let’s work together to support local businesses

You can play your part in our campaign
You can play your part in our campaign

This week, we are linking with our Johnston Press sister titles across the UK to urge our readers to Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local.

This week, we are linking with our Johnston Press sister titles across the UK to urge our readers to Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local.

Our town and city centres are the lifeblood of our local economies and vital to their success in the future are the local independent retailers - some four million around the country - who offer a unique range of goods and services.

Over the next few weeks and months, we will be focusing on some of those vibrant businesses as well as explaining just how you can play your part, but the essence of of the campaign is just as our slogan says - ‘Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local’.

Independent retailers - your traditional butchers, bakers and, yes, even candlestick-makers - have long served us well but, in a period of ever-growing competition, they need our support more than ever. The saying that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone is never truer than when one of these much-loved businesses disappears from our high street.

But these these days our town and city centres are about much more that simply shopping. Increasingly they are viewed as leisure destinations and this role will become event more prominent in the future. That’s were they ‘eat’ and ‘play’ come in. Pubs and restaurants have invested heavily in our are and their continued success can only help our centres grow and develop a thriving - and incereasingly important nighttime economy.

Ashley Highfield, CEO of Johnston Press, said: “Our Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local campaign shows how committed we are to supporting our local businesses, given these are the lifeblood of our local economies.

‘’Our newsbrands are the heartbeat and voice of our communities and through this campaign we are delighted to be able to bring our SME partners and readers closer together.”

The campaign already has the backing of the Association of Town and City Management, which supports businesses the length and breadth of the country.

Policy manager Ojay McDonald said: “Small businesses are the grass roots of any economy. For those within the business they provide an important route to employment giving people the skills and confidence they need to make long-term contributions to our economy. Small businesses also have a key role to play in shared wealth creation for their local area, developing symbiotic relationships with other small businesses, local communities and town centres. Sustainable economic growth is only possible with a strong independent business base.”