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'Shop in your town' campaign kicks off in Christchurch
WORK on a shopping scheme to encourage more local people to use Christchurch stores is underway.
The first meeting to inform traders and business owners about the Totally Locally scheme took place on Tuesday night.
And as well as some interested traders from Christchurch, local councillors were also in attendance at the meeting including portfolio holder for business Trevor Watts and economic development officer Paul Riley.
The Totally Locally campaign which has been taken up by several towns across the UK claims Christchurch’s economy could be boosted by an extra £8.2million a year if traders get behind it.
The initiative’s message is that if Christchurch residents spent just £5 a week in local independent shops, the boost to the town would help ensure its survival.
Cheryl Dennett, who is leading the scheme, told the meeting that this was a project that could potentially lift the whole town.
“It is reminding people about what they have in our town that is good”, she said.
“There only need to be small changes to make a big difference.
“It could change public perception and shopping habits.
“Ultimately it is about the town, not individual businesses.
“It is about devising ways we can get people to understand what our town has to offer.
“I know people may not want to take part in the beginning but we need to promote them anyway and get the ball rolling.”
She added: “It’s about being nice to customers, fellow business owners and long-standing enemies.
“We are taking on huge corporations and supermarkets with huge marketing teams and brand strategies.
“This will require a little bit of people’s time and effort. But if we’re working towards making our town a more profitable place then it can only be a good thing.”
Ideas including a “fiver fest” where shops offer some goods for £5 and a Hidden Gems scheme where stores each champion a different business in the town to encourage customers to visit, were greeted with enthusiasm by some traders.
The next meeting is due to take place on February 19 at Christchurch Fire Station.