Shoppers and businesses in Norfolk urged to ‘Love Local’ this Christmas

Norwich Lanes; Picture: antony kelly

Norwich Lanes; Picture: antony kelly - Credit: copyright Archant Photographic 2

Christmas means many things to many people but most would agree that it is a time when family and friends gather to celebrate the festive season.

Love Local Norfok Poster.

Love Local Norfok Poster. - Credit: Archant

Part of getting into the spirit of the holiday involves planning the perfect day from selecting a golden turkey to put on the table to that special gift for a loved one under the tree.

And shoppers need not look too far away when it comes to creating the ultimate Christmas Day experience, as across Norfolk's towns and markets are a whole host of independent retailers waiting to make it happen.

So why not join the 'Love Local' campaign and support the local businesses in your community?

Roger Pemberton, chairman of Norwich Lanes Traders Association and director of Norwich Business Improvement District, urged both businesses and consumers to back Love Local.

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He said: 'The thing that makes Norfolk and Norwich different is the independent offerings. Although we may not be the biggest individual players we do offer a genuine experience of special ranges which are totally bespoke to that store.

'That also goes for independent pubs and restaurants.'

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Mr Pemberton particularly praised the wealth of independent retailers in the city, describing them as an 'embodiment' of their owner.

And echoing that ethos, Andy Bullen, secretary of Sheringham Chamber of Trade, said using independent retailers was something consumers should do for life, not just for Christmas.

'That's the whole point about using the independent traders,' he said. 'And part of visitors holiday experience when coming to towns like Sheringham is to see all the independent shops rather than the cosmopolitan shops they are used to.

'If you want variety and something different then the independent shops are the ones to go to.'

Further along the coast, the seaside town of Great Yarmouth has 6pc more independent shops on average compared with the East of England, and 15pc more nationally.

Jonathan Newman, Great Yarmouth Town Centre Partnership manager, explained that the importance of shopping locally should not be 'underestimated'.

'Money spent locally stays in the local economy longer and helps other local businesses, which in turn means preserving local jobs,' he said.

'Consumers save money by spending less time and money on travel and also find more original and unique purchases along the way because some independents may be the only local stockists for some brands and products.'

And backing the campaign 100pc is Attleborough's mayor, Karen Pettitt, who believes Love Local will help to highlight the important work of the independent traders, especially in the market town.

'Shopping locally is so very important and helps to keep the community together.'

Finally, Norfolk County Council chairman, Hilary Cox added: 'We have such a wonderful variety of local shops on our doorsteps - real gems that give our county its unique identity and puts the heart into our local communities.

'They're part of what makes Norfolk so special and we are very proud of them, so there's never been a better time to give them all the support they deserve.'

As well as urging consumers to Love Local, the campaign - which kicks off next week - is also keen to see businesses get involved and display a campaign poster in their window.

Love Local is in association with East of England Co-op.

• For more information about the posters or advertising email or ring 01603 693853, to follow on Twitter use the hashtag #LoveLocalNorfolk or visit online here.

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