Small busi­nesses are a gift for Christ­mas

Help re­tail com­mu­nity and ‘shop lo­cal’ for bet­ter, per­sonal ser­vice

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by Lor­can Lovett lor­can.lovett@trin­i­tymir­

THE Ad­ver­tiser is urg­ing all read­ers to support their lo­cal traders, par­tic­u­larly at this time of year.

As sea­sonal lights are switched on across the county, business lead­ers in Chal­font St Giles, Chal­font St Peter and Ger­rards Cross are urg­ing vil­lagers to use lo­cal shops rather than buy­ing all their presents via the in­ter­net or in larger towns and ci­ties.

Our call co­in­cides with Small Business Satur­day (De­cem­ber 6), a na­tional cam­paign to support small in­de­pen­dent shops.

Chal­font St Giles wel­comes Fa­ther Christ­mas for its switch-on at the vil­lage green from 5.50pm on Satur­day.

Celebrity baker Mich Turner, of Lit­tle Venice Cake Company, switched on the lights in Ger­rards Cross yes­ter­day (Tues­day) and Chal­font St Peter has its Christ­mas Fun Night, with a fun­fair and more than 40 stalls, from 4pm to­mor­row (Fri­day).

Liz Royal, co-owner of Ac­tiv­ity Chest in Chal­font St Peter, will keep her toy shop open un­til at least 4pm on Christ­mas Eve for any­one who needs to make a last-minute dash for gifts.

“Christ­mas is a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for every­body to come and look at the of­fers,” she said. “We all try re­ally hard to make sure there is enough stock. It would be nice if we felt peo­ple were com­ing to us first to help us out.

“You do not have to pay for the car park here and you may even be able to walk. Give us a go be­fore head­ing to the in­ter­net.”

Paul Fisher, chair­man of Ger­rards Cross Traders’ As­so­ci­a­tion, said: “Christ­mas is all about com­ing to­gether and hav­ing that sense of com­mu­nity, and in Ger­rards Cross that is what you get with the in­de­pen­dent shop­keep­ers.

“You get a much bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence. If it was about prices, then ev­ery­one would shop at the cheap­est and that’s not the case.”

The owner of florist Blooms of St Giles, Lynn Hol­loway, said: “Peo­ple get a per­sonal ser­vice when they come in. They feel im­por­tant and re­ally looked after and you don’t get that on the high street.

“We want to keep the com­mu­nity go­ing and of­fer peo­ple ser­vices to those who can not go to the main shops. It en­hances the beauty of the vil­lage if we see lots of nice lit­tle bou­tiques.”

Photo by Chris Berry www.buyapho­ NL201411298

IN­DE­PEN­DENTS: Shop­keep­ers in Mar­ket Place, Chal­font St Peter, are ready to give you a warm wel­come and help you do your Christ­mas shop­ping this year

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