OUR high streets have been the lifeblood of our communities for centuries.
Whether it be it the historic, weekly farmer’s market to small independent shopkeepers, they have fed and clothed generations and sold the goods we need.
But times are changing.
Never before have our high streets in towns and villages been under so much pressure.
Changing shopping habits – the rise of the supermarket and out-of-town malls to online purchasing – have seen many well known businesses and small family-run firms go to the wall.
Many of these stores are not only historic, much loved, but collectively employers of thousands of people.
And that is why The Gazette today launches its Shop Small campaign.
As the Fylde coast’s daily newspaper we have supported local retailers for 140 years.
We today call on shoppers everywhere to use and support these local businesses.
Throughout this year and beyond we will be focusing on retailers and traders for who first class customer service remains their unique selling point.
We will be running regular features and supplements highlighting all that is good about shopping locally.
Our two Shop Small Saturday events – on June 1 and December 7 – are geared towards shouting loud and proud about what our high streets have to offer.
We will feature information, advertising campaigns and discounts at these stores in the hope footfall will increase and our community shopping hubs not only survive but thrive.
The phrase “Use It or Lose It” is one which is heard a lot these days.
It has never been truer than it is right now so let’s all do our bit to Shop Small, stay local and help keep our high streets the vibrant, well used places they always have been.
Editor, The Gazette