Shoppers urged to 'Keep it Cromer'

Imagine if a whole seaside town had its own card scheme to save people's precious pennies and help boost local traders and the community at the same time.

Most people's wallets and purses are bulging with store loyalty cards promising them rewards if they spend a small fortune of their hard-earned money.

But imagine if a whole seaside town had its own card scheme to save people's precious pennies and help boost local traders and the community at the same time.

Within the next few months that idea could become a reality if the Keep it Cromer card is used by thousands of consumers and bargain hunters as they peruse the shops of the north Norfolk town.

Anyone buying goods from a shop which is part of the proposed card scheme will get 5pc of their money back while another 5pc will go towards a new community fund, which will be used to support local good causes and projects.

The three men behind initiative, Andrew Rising, Alan Kirkham and John Morgan, hope the loyalty card will also increase local traders' profit margins as more people will be encouraged to shop at their premises instead of going to supermarkets and chain shops.

Figures used by the backers of the card project show that every pound spent with a Cromer business stays in the local economy for a further five transactions, as opposed to a pound spent at a chain store which is only used in an extra two local transactions.

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Mr Rising, who runs the Garden Street grocery, said: “This is all about uplifting and empowering the whole community by creating a 21st-century co-operative which gives power back to people.”

It is hoped that up to 20 shops and 2,000 people will start using the Keep it Cromer card if it is launched and in the space of just two years an estimated £350,000 could be pumped back into the local community.

Mr Morgan, an ex-town councillor, said: “The public love the idea. After all, who would not want to save a few quid and help the community as well?

“The Eastern Daily Press has led the way with its Shop Here campaign. With all the increased pressures on small shops and businesses, I am convinced Cromer will benefit from the card scheme.”

Cromer Town Council and the chamber of trade and commerce will be asked to support the card campaign and businesses are currently being canvassed to see if they will take part in the innovative shopping plan.

The card would be issued free to people from the town and surrounding villages.