Thursday, 26 June 2014

Biddy goes independent

A promotional flyer for NewburyFest 2014 just plopped through my letterbox – you’ve probably had one too. Seeing the reference to ‘Shop Local Week’ brought to mind a few thoughts …

Who doesn’t love a bargain at the supermarket? Who doesn’t take the easy option and do all their shopping under one roof when time is of the essence? And who doesn’t know the phrase ‘use it or lose it’?

Sadly many of us are guilty of not practicing what we preach at times – and that includes me. Which is why I am going all out this year to put my money where my mouth is and shouting from the rooftops about ‘Shop Local Week’.

Newbury has held a ‘Shop Local Week’ for the past four years, so as it prepares for its fifth anniversary it has become something of a tradition. Its origins lie in its link with American Independence Day – which is why we are celebrating our own ‘Independents’ (geddit?) – and this year ‘Shop Local Week’ promoting independent retailers runs from 30 June to 5 July.

This is part of NewburyFest 2014, and a time to celebrate what we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep. Making a concentrated effort to use our local independent retailers is important if we want to keep the face of the high street. It would be a sad day indeed if the main streets in the centre of Newbury were filled with row upon row of empty shops, and everyone needed cars to get to out-of-town stores.

Last year saw loads of shops in Newbury embracing the event, and the signs are promising that it is going to be even bigger and better this year.

I am already making a list of the basics I am going to be getting: my bread is going to be from Hethertons; with several birthdays coming up, I am going to choose my cards from the selection in Artifax; some crafty bits and pieces I need will be from Rainbows; when I treat myself to flowers they are coming from Willow & Blooms; the Sunday joint is going to be from Griffins butchers; I am going to get my veg next door in Oldbury’s Deli. Talking of Oldbury’s, have you seen their price comparison blackboard? It makes it perfectly clear that shopping independently is often cheaper! 

See how easy it is?  And of course during my shopping trips I shall make several coffee stops and each one will be in a different independent coffee shop, of which there are plenty to choose from.

As an added bonus I see that several car parks will be offering parking ‘FREE after THREE’. Well that can’t be bad, can it? Please join me in making a promise to go into town and support our local independent shops – even if you only buy one thing. You never know, it might become a habit.

Biddy x