Our high streets have changed. Closing down sales and boarded up windows are now commonplace. Local independent businesses are trying their best to survive but without loyal customers, they too will become extinct.
It is all too tempting to automatically head to the supermarket or retail park to do our shopping; it's easy and the buying power of the big names means it is often cheaper. But at what cost to our towns? Without local entrepreneurs, without those little, unique shops, without a business community with direct ties to our town, we lose the heart of Haverhill.
thebestof's Buy Local Week is all about championing our great local businesses and encouraging local people to change their spending habits. We want to learn from other towns in the UK who are taking the initiative to revitalise their declining high street. Taking place from June 3rd to 9th 2013, the campaign will be highlighting the many benefits that come with buying local, both for the businesses involved and the local community as a whole.
For example, buying from local, independent retailers will help to retain – and potentially increase – the variety of local, one-of-a-kind shops in Haverhill. As more businesses spring up and shoppers are drawn back into the town centre, Haverhill will enjoy a greater sense of community and individuality.
Sourcing from local suppliers, such as farms, means more opportunity to buy fresh, local produce. Buying local also helps the environment, as well as your pocket, as you will be travelling less miles to shop.
Local shops are vital to the elderly and vulnerable, who may not have the ability to shop out of time, so by investing in your own high street, you are also ensuring that they access to the resources they rely on. And of course, the more new or thriving shops, the more jobs there are for Haverhill residents.
You don't have to completely overhaul your shopping habits; money and time – or the lack of it – is always going to pay a significant part in the spending decisions we make. But even if you can buy your barbecue meat from Kedington Butchers in Haverhill rather than the supermarket, take a look at Finishing Touch Interiors – The Boutique instead of automatically heading to the department store for your soft furnishings, consider speaking to Foster Denovo Limited about your financial planning and not just the bank... it all makes a massive difference to the future of Haverhill's business economy and the town in which we live, work and raise our children.
As an added incentive, locals who pledge their support for their favourite local businesses during Buy Local Week will automatically be entered into thebestof's daily prize draw. Each and every day during the campaign, five supporters will win £100 to spend at a recommended local business! Not bad for a simple testimonial!
So keep visiting thebestof Haverhill for updates, and please, do your bit to inject a new lease of life into Haverhill's town centre and Buy Local!
Member since: 6th November 2012
I am a long-term resident of Haverhill and love sharing information and advice on the best places to visit, businesses to contact and people to speak to!