THE Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local campaign, launched in the Herald & Gazette series last week to support local businesses, is receiving wide support.
Independent retailers are at the heart of the town and the lifeblood of the local economy.
David Steadman, Adur town centres co-ordinator, said: “Using your local shops when you go shopping is the way to keep our town centres alive and thriving.
“Southwick and Shoreham shops offer an excellent choice, and restaurants offer a wide variety of wonderful meals.
“They are relatively vibrant towns and you have got new businesses opening up. There is also the very popular Shoreham Farmers’ Market in East Street once a month”
How people shop and the choices they make can generate a real difference in the area in which they live.
Julian Cioffi, from Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce, explained: “The effects of the recession are far from over and the tail off can be the hardest time.
“We must all reflect on how we shop and make a real difference. Our shops, cafés, restaurants and businesses deserve to be celebrated and supported.”
The chamber is working with Adur District Council to re-launch its own Buy Local campaign to further help local shops, cafés, restaurants and businesses.
Together with the Herald & Gazette campaign, it will work with local businesses to promote the Shop Local, Buy Local message and attract more customers to the area.
The campaign will start in Shoreham in the next six weeks, with all local businesses invited to a meeting to sign up to the scheme and display Shop Local – Buy Local signs in their windows.
Mr Steadman said buying local meant supporting the unique character and diversity of the town.
“Your money will support local jobs, keep your money in your community and improve its well-being,” he added.
“Shopping locally saves time and money, with fewer travelling costs.
“You will find friendly service and specialist advice – all in one place and its ‘greener’ too!”
Thanks to the increased custom, local businesses are more likely to survive, succeed and stay local.
The benefits will then spread, as local businesses are much more likely get their supplies from other local suppliers, making the customers’ support go even further, at lower transport costs.
Mr Cioffi said the chamber was shoulder to shoulder with the council on the Buy Local campaign and he urged all local businesses to take part.
“We want all local residents to see the very real benefits in helping our towns prosper,” he added.
“That way we can all enjoy a diverse and independent offer on our doorstep and a better place to live and work.”
In Steyning, the town has a whole range of shops which are popular with both residents and businessesses.
Sue Rogers, who represents Steyning on Horsham District Council and is cabinet member for a safer and healthier district, was keen to support the campaign.
“We are very lucky in Steyning to have such a comprehensive selection of shops and businesses, from the basic daily staples, to butchers and fish shops and to the unusual gift shops,” she said.
“The High Street hosts a number of restaurants, tea shops and public houses. With such good variety and quality, I would encourage everyone to support local businesses.”
One of those High Street businesses is Steyning Bookshop, which has been run by Sara and Rob Bowers for 30 years.
Sara said: “We love being in Steyning because it’s a very special town – beautiful historic buildings, a busy and vibrant High Street with lots of very individual shops, including a fishmonger and two excellent butchers, and so many, many things to do for all ages.
“It’s amazing that a town this size has its own swimming pool and leisure centre, loads of societies for every conceivable interest, coastal, river and hill walks within really easy access, a brilliant festival and 36 book groups.
“No wonder so many people want to live here.”
Local business guide thebestofhorsham is a keen supporter of the Buy Local campaign in the district.
Martin New, who has owned thebestofhorsham since early 2013, has run his own business in the past and has many years experience supporting business owners.
He said: “Local businesses are at the very heart of our community here in UK.
“Great local firms take immense pride in delivering the personal touch that us Brits value and they are totally passionate about the quality of customer service and product knowledge they provide.
“You know, it’s tough running a local business right now. They’ve coped with the recession, the government, the banks, the weather.
“Whatever has been thrown at them, UK’s entrepreneurs and business owners have been there for their customers and we want to throw the spotlight on them and ensure that as many people as possible Buy Local and support our fabulous local businesses.
“We’d be lost without them.”
The website www.thebestof.co.uk/local/horsham showcases and promotes recommended businesses in the district.