This week the Forfar Dispatch and Kirriemuir Herald, alongside our Johnston Press sister titles across the UK, is launching a campaign to support independent businesses that make up the backbone of our high street. The essence of our campaign is ‘Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local’.
Our town 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.
Independent retailers - your traditional butchers, bakers, and even candlestick makers - have long served us well, but in a period of ever growing competition they need our support more than ever.
These days, our town centres are about much more than simply shopping. Increasingly they are also viewed as leisure destinations - that’s where the ‘eat’ and ‘play’ come in. Pubs and restaurants have invested heavily in our area and their continued success can only help our centres grow and develop a thriving, and increasingly important, night time economy.
Ashley Highfield, CEO of Johnston Press, said: “Our campaign shows how committed we are to supporting our local businesses. Our newsbrands are the heartbeat and voice of our communities, and through this campaign we are delighted to be able to bring our SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) partners and readers closer together.”
The campaign already has the backing of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which supports businesses the length and breadth of the country.
Catherine Ward, FSB development manager, said: “A vibrant small business sector brings huge benefits to our communities.
“But the responsibility for the growth of strong and vibrant local communities doesn’t just rest at the door of decision makers and businesses leaders. The FSB’s ‘Keep Trade Local’ campaign encourages all of us to support our local economies by buying from local independent businesses– whether those businesses are in service, retail, or manufacturing.
“We can all do our bit by thinking small first, whether it’s when we need a tradesperson, when we shop or when we visit a cafe. Sadly, the case is that if we don’t use our independent businesses, we will lose them.”
Pick up a copy of this week’s Dispatch and Herald to find out more, in our four-page supplement.