It is nice to know that our local businesses have been reasonably well supported over the festive period.
While not every shop or trader did as well as some, the fact that most seem to have had a decent year is still music to our ears.
It is imperative that our independent traders continue to thrive.
Some firms, such as Turnbull’s the Butcher’s in Alnwick, have reported the best Christmas ever. The queues of people out the shop at 8am on Christmas Eve prove it.
But Alnwick Chamber of Trade chairman, Carlo Biagioni, has still raised concerns about out-of-town shopping areas drawing people away from the centre.
It is hoped that a year’s trial of free parking from April will counter this with more people coming into our towns to spend their money.
There is a wealth of good shops in all of our communities selling all manner of items from DIY to shoes and handbags.
Let’s make 2014 the year of supporting our local businesses be it the market traders, gift shops, butcher’s or more.
We hope they and you have a prosperous 2014.