THE Herald & Gazette’s Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local campaign, launched last week, is gathering support from businesses and shoppers alike.
Our message to readers is the importance of supporting local traders, the backbone of the high street, to protect the town and local economy.
The campaign is running alongside Worthing Town Centre Initiative’s I Love Sunny Worthing loyalty card scheme, which offers discounts and special deals when showing your membership card.
Worthing town centre manager Sharon Clarke said: “It is great to see shoppers getting behind the Shop Local campaign and we are already seeing people making a conscious decision to stay local and buy local.
“When we had our Sunny Worthing girls out in the town centre last week, handing out our new Worthing Food & Drink Guide, the feedback was that people wanted to buy local and protect the independent traders they love so much.”
Aga Smith, manager of Men’s Gift Shop in Montague Street, said:”I think the campaign is a really brilliant idea and we are right behind it.
“If people shop local then the shops will stay local by staying open.
“Shopping in Worthing is great because you can find so many different things, and independents know the customer so they can bring what people are looking for with their knowledge of the local market.
“We can offer items that other shops may not be selling because we know people want them.”
Paul O’Brien, owner of Candy Love, said: “The campaign is a really good thing especially because running alongside it is the Town Centre Initiative’s I Love Sunny Worthing loyalty card and I think the two can work hand in hand.
“It keeps money in the local economy, employs local people and keeps the shop rate up in Worthing which means that the town as a whole can be invested in.
“It is important that people are spending money in their local community because this makes things like the seafront planting and the donating to local charities possible.”
Herald and Gazette readers took to Facebook to say that they thought shoppers were put off of coming to Worthing because of high parking rates.
But Mr O’Brien said: “From April 1 that will all change and I think that will make a big difference because coming to Worthing is too expensive for people at the moment. “That is why people do not come to Worthing now so I think that 2014 is going to be a really big year for the town.
“Worthing is a great place to come to so now we need to encourage people that visit once to come back.
“We already have great support from local people so the aim going forward is to attract visitors from outside, and to keep them coming back to the town.”