Festive shoppers urged to keep it local
Christmas shoppers in Northumberland are being urged to resist the temptation of online shopping and distant shopping centres.
It is a vital month for traders at the heart of their local communities, especially given the difficulties many have endured as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s a crucial time for many of us,” said Lisa Aynsley, chairman of Alnwick Chamber of Trade.
She acknowledges that Alnwick already has a solid core of shoppers who are committed to supporting their local businesses but hopes more who follow suit.
"When you shop local with us, we all employ local people and we all re-spend that money in the local economy,” said Lisa, owner of menswear shop Hotspur 1364.
“It’s self-perpetuating. It grows positivity and enthusiasm and new vigour into the community.”
She has been thrilled to see Alnwick emerging from the cloud of Covid-19 in such a positive light.
“I think there are fewer empty shops than I can ever remember,” she said. “There seem to be new businesses popping up all over so it’s exciting and it’s thriving.”
Butcher Daniel Turnbull adds: "By shopping local you are not only supporting us, but you are also supporting the 40 staff who work for Turnbull’s, and most importantly, you are directly supporting the livelihoods of all of our local farmers and producers who work incredibly hard and are just as passionate about local food and drink as we are.
“We are so lucky to have a very short supply chain, meaning that we remain unaffected by national shortages. We are proud to keep food miles as low as possible, which reflects high standards of animal welfare ”
Berwick Chamber of Trade chairman Stephen Scott said: "I would strongly encourage local people to rediscover their town by supporting local business.
“With the loss of many of the high street chains, you will find that there are many more local independents who offer something unique which isn’t available in other towns, and certainly isn’t available online.
"You will get the best level of service and advice by shopping in your local town. This isn’t something you will experience in a city centre or in a large retail park when you are simply another anonymous customer.”