We have all been seeing the effects of the harsh economy on every high street in the UK; walk through any town centre and you will see boarded up shops and closing down sales.
Yet our town centres should be the heart of our communities, bringing businesses and residents together and providing locals with the resources, products and support they need.
So what can we do to stem the flow of failing businesses?
Running from 3rd to 9th June 2013, thebestof's Buy Local Week is a campaign dedicated to raising awareness of the issues facing our high streets and championing recommended local independent businesses to the benefit of both business owners and residents. We're not asking much – simply do that little bit more to support your local traders by perhaps opting to try out an independent retailer rather than automatically choosing the big name brands. We don't expect people to completely overhaul their spending but by changing our shopping habits just a little and supporting a few extra local stores, we can all make a massive difference to the state of Watford town centre.
There are so many reasons why we should all buy local:
Preserve one of a kind businesses
Enjoy a greater variety of local shops in the town centre
Regain the character, uniqueness and independence that may have been lost in the deluge of chain stores
Save on petrol by shopping closer to home
Ensure that the elderly or residents with limited mobility have access to vital local resources
Encourage new start-up businesses and local entrepreneurship
Create jobs for the local community
Enjoy more fresh, organic produce, which is grown and sourced in the Watford area
As an added incentive to buy local, if you visit thebestof Watford to pledge your support for your favourite Watford businesses during Buy Local Week from 3rd to 9th June, you will also be entered into thebestof's daily prize draw. During the week, five supporters each day will win £100 to spend at one of thebestof's recommended businesses, just for writing a testimonial!
But remember, the Buy Local philosophy is more than just a week of awareness; in order for us to make a real change, we need to change the way we shop 365 days a year.
Spending locally counts, so please, do your bit and pledge your support.