I am delighted that the Sunderland Echo is championing our independent businesses with our ‘Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local’ campa- ign.
The newspaper is very much at the heart of the local community so it is appropriate that we should be offering our support – and, hopefully, the support of our loyal readers as well – to the many unique outlets at the heart of our town centre and surrounding areas.
Our high streets have been squeezed for many years by out-of-town developments and increasing use of the internet, but they are now making a resurgence and it’s up to us to help ensure that they not only survive, but prosper in the future.
Increasingly, shopping is being seen as a leisure pursuit and, while the town centres must adapt to that by ensuring the facilities are up to standard and the night-time economy is supported and sustainable, we can play a part too.
Every pound spent locally can have huge benefits for the area, helping local businesses who, in turn, will employ local people.
The Sunderland Echo has always been proud to offer our support to local traders on some of the most exciting developments in recent years and we remain committed to playing our part in helping our local business communities to thrive.
We supported the Sunderland City Centre Traders’ Association from its very beginnings and have championed the creation of a new Business Improvement District, which is set to make a real difference for hundreds of businesses across the city centre for the next five years at least.
And each year, through our Portfolio Business Awards, we celebrate some of the fantastic success stories from businesses large and small across Wearside, South Tyneside and East Durham, from sole traders to global corporations.
Everyone knows the last few years have been tough and the temptation for businesses is to get their heads down and get on with it – but that is precisely the reason why it is so important to take time out to celebrate our successes and highlight those who are helping to develop and expand our local economy.
This year is the tenth anniversary of the awards and they have established themselves as a key fixture in the business calendar.
The Echo has a vital role to play in supporting our local businesses and over the course of this year, we will be throwing the spotlight on some of the successful businesses in the area, while bringing you great deals to allow you to sample some of the fantastic products and services they have on offer.
And, as well as regular slots in the paper, you can check out our stories and videos online, as well as following us, and our sister papers, across the country on Twitter using the hashtag #jpshoplocal.
Please play your part by pledging to ‘Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local’!
Follow our Shop Local campaign on Twitter #jpshoplocal
To join our campaign contact our Shop Local correspondent Kevin Clark.
Send your Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local stories to Kevin via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Or send him a tweet @sunechobiz