Reasons to shop locally in Suffolk this Christmas

Lawra Stubbs, owner of Miss Quirky Kicks in Ipswich hopes more people will shop at independent store

Lawra Stubbs, owner of Miss Quirky Kicks in Ipswich hopes more people will shop at independent stores this Christmas Picture: SOPHIE BARNETT - Credit: SOPHIE BARNETT

With Christmas rapidly approaching, a call has gone out for shoppers to support independent traders in Suffolk.

The ever-increasing popularity of online shopping and the bombardment of Black Friday deals means it can be hard for independent businesses to get a look in.

But not-so hidden in plain sight is a plethora of independent shops in towns across the county, from Ipswich to Aldeburgh.

It is estimated that for every £10 spent in an independent shop, an additional £50 goes back into the local economy - creating a cycle of local business owners spending their money on local services, and in local pubs and restaurants.

In Sudbury, the chamber of commerce has joined forces with local secondary schools to promote shopping locally in a bid to make the town more prosperous.

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The scheme, called Celebrate Sudbury, has adopted the slogan "use it or lose it" in the hope residents realise the wealth of opportunity on their doorstep.

A leaflet for the scheme says people should shop locally more because:

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1. There is a diverse range of shops

2. You can check the quality of goods before you buy

3. Faulty goods can be easily returned or exchanged

4. You can shop in a safe and relaxed town centre

5. There is a quality cafe culture for socialising

6. You are supporting your local town

Michael Heyland, director of Sudbury and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the county is lucky to have so many independent businesses.

Mr Heyland added: "While a buyer can see and feel the quality of a local purchase, he or she is also supporting the town where they live."

Lawra Stubbs, owner of Ipswich independent shop Miss Quirky Kicks in Orwell Place, said: "It is really important to shop independent - not just to help the dying high street but also to keep people's dreams alive, as without our loyal customers we wouldn't be able to continue doing what we love."

Miss Stubbs set up the shop - which specialises in crystals, salt lamps, clothing and American treats - after running a successful market stall, built on the foundations of shopping locally.

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