Letters to the Editor: ‘Rostrevor tradition under threat from multinationals’

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Thursday, May 17th, 2012
Letters to the Editor
Dear Editor, Rostrevor has always had a strong tradition of local people supporting local businesses. This has resulted in an increased sense of community, job creation, an excellent personal service in the village as well as financial savings. So maybe before rushing off to large retail complexes, packed with large scale multinational stores, please consider the benefits of using the local services which are on our own door step. 1. Shopping local retains distinctiveness… Many of the town centres and villages across the north look the same with multinational stores destroying the unique character of our villages and townscapes. Independent shops create distinctive shopping experiences and stock a great range of products. Also, many shops in the Rostrevor area keep traditional local products alive. They respond more quickly to the needs of local customers. 2. Shopping local creates jobs… Shops and businesses in our villages and towns create local employment and self employment. These people in turn spend in the local economy. Evidence shows that for every £10 spent in an independent shop, £25 is generated for the local economy compared to £14 spent in multinationals. 3. Local independent shops invest more in communities… Sole traders and independent stores are proportionally more generous in their support for local charities, sports clubs, festivals, schools and community events. So supporting local shops means a financial return for your community. 4. Shopping local saves the environment… We are all aware of C02 emissions and our environmental impact. Local shops often stock a high percentage of locally sourced goods and products, and long car and bus journeys aren’t required, so helping reduce global footprints. 5. Shopping local saves services… Private, voluntary and public sector services cluster around shops. The loss of the main street often corresponds to a reduction in these services. As shops disappear, so do hairdressers, vets, dentists, post offices, etc. 6. Local shops are for everyone… Most people can get to their local shops easily and this is especially important for our elderly, vulnerable and young people and those without transport. Keeping our shops open by buying locally helps the whole community. 7. Shopping local saves money… Out of town shops have done a great job of convincing us all that sole traders are expensive, but the evidence just isn’t there to back this up. If you add in travel, parking costs, fees to transport larger items home and your time, the overall cost is often much higher. 8. Local shops value customers more… Evidence from numerous surveys shows people receive better customer care service in local shops. Traders survive by their reputation and repeat business, so shopping local means customers get a higher standard of service. The survival of our villages and towns and local high streets is down to us all. We can make a difference, please support all local businesses in and around the Rostrevor area, and keep our community strong. Mark Gibbons Sinn Fein Rostrevor
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