Bought on the fourth of July

TRADERS in Morpeth are hoping for a happy July 4 as they celebrate Independents’ Day.

A campaign has been launched by Skillsmart Retail and the National Skills Academy for Retail to encourage shoppers to buy at least one item from their local independent shops on Monday to help keep the high street alive.

The initiative has been backed by the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade, which has recently supported Newgate Street retailers in their bid to boost custom for independent shops.

Chairman John Beynon said: “I think this is a very good initiative and we give it our whole-hearted support. We have been campaigning for independent shops for the last year or so with Newgate Street initiatives and anything that helps the independent traders, we are all in favour of.

“The Chamber of Trade is there to help all businesses in the town, but especially the independents. That is why we have recently started work on the alleyway improvements beside T & G Allan.”

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in the region is also supporting the campaign.

Regional Chairman Pauline Osborne said: “As the high street continues to face some serious challenges from out-of-town shopping centres and supermarkets more must be done to help the local high street survive.

“As a first step the FSB in the North East fully supports the Independents’ Day campaign and is urging the public to purchase at least one item from the local high street on July 4.

“This will help raise the profile of the fantastic diversity the high streets in the North East can offer and the crucial role they play in the local community.”