Shop Local: Independents pivotal to vitality of town centres, says business leader

President of Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce Tim Lee in Stamford High Street.'Photo: MSMP200313-014ow
President of Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce Tim Lee in Stamford High Street.'Photo: MSMP200313-014ow

Independent businesses are pivotal to maintaining the vitality of our town centres, according to the president of Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce.

Tim Lee is a strong believer in shopping local and says the citizens of Stamford have a duty to do their bit.

But he also says shops also have their part to play in meeting the retail offer.

He said: “If we want to preserve the vitality of our town centre it is up to the residents to support our shops.

“Thankfully, Stamford has one of the lowest vacancy rates of any market towns and that is because shops are surviving or there are people waiting to fill the shops that do close.

“That is good for us but we do need to maintain it and I think retailers also have their part to play in offering a range of goods to meet the needs of shoppers.”

Stamford’s High Street is a mix of national chains and small businesses, but if you wander down the town’s charming alleyways, there are also jewels to be found.

Mr Lee said the chamber’s research showed that cafes were “booming”, which suggested that people are visiting the town.

He also said a footfall survey carried out by the survey just a few weeks before Christmas showed an 18 per cent increase in footfall compared to the same week in the previous year.

Web designer Alex Curtis also created the Love Stamford loyalty card in collaboration with traders to reward those who do their bit in the town centre.

The free cards are available to shoppers, who can benefit from a range of offers and discounts.

To find out more or to sign up visit www.lovestamford.com.

There is also a wide range of shops, restaurants and cafes for people to enjoy in the Deepings, Bourne, Oakham and Uppingham.

Ron Simpson is chairman of Uppingham Business Forum, which was set up by local businesses to provide a voice for town’s traders.

Mr Simpson is a key supporter of the Shop Local message.

He said: “Uppingham offers a quality shopping and leisure time experience for visitors and residents alike.

“Our vibrant High Street and busy industrial estates are essential components of the town’s current success.

“‘Use it or lose it’ and ‘spend five to help it thrive’ are examples of national slogans that contain an important message: If you like Uppingham the way it is, keep supporting local businesses and shops.”

More

Join our Shop Local campaign in support of high street businesses