In his regular blog for Caerphilly Observer, Andrew Diplock, chair of Caerphilly Business Forum, urges shoppers to buy local this Christmas.
Amid the rush and excitement at this time of year many of us turn our thoughts to home. It’s important to us, especially in Wales.
Here, we’re lucky enough to have much closer-knit communities than many other parts of the UK – something we should guard preciously.
The Christmas period is also a hugely important time for many businesses including the retailers and local traders in the heart of towns and villages throughout Caerphilly County Borough.
But these small businesses are particularly vulnerable to the economic hardships the country is going through. And the reality is that if we lose them now, it’s unlikely that they will quickly be replaced. This in turn would damage remaining businesses and, in some instances, have a profound and detrimental effect on whole communities too.
These small business owners are working tremendously hard to stay afloat. To the rest of us – their potential customers – the message is stark but clear; use them or lose them.
We used to go, periodically, through government inspired Buy British campaigns until the European Union became so influential that such messages were perhaps seen as a slap in the face of free trade. Others have picked up the mantle though, and “Buy British” is still a rallying call.
But we need to go one step further. It still makes sense for people to buy locally whenever they can. Often it is cost-effective but always it’s supporting our retailers and traders which will also help our communities and ultimately each of us.
Our local authority has been redeveloping town centres, such as Bargoed, not only to help local businesses but also with communities very much in mind. But we can’t just leave it to them, we need to do our bit too, so that we can celebrate Christmas for many years to come in the real communities that we’re lucky enough to have in Caerphilly.
Chairman, Caerphilly Business Forum
For more information about Caerphilly Business Forum call 029 2125 1395 or email firstname.lastname@example.org