Firms see extra £100k flow in from local trade drive

KEEP IT LOCAL: From left, Margaret Coles of the Federation of Small Businesses with MP Sir Tony Baldry and Julia Colegrave from Wykham Park Farm shop, near Banbury

KEEP IT LOCAL: From left, Margaret Coles of the Federation of Small Businesses with MP Sir Tony Baldry and Julia Colegrave from Wykham Park Farm shop, near Banbury

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More than £100,000 has flowed into independent shops and firms following a campaign to boost local business.

The Keep Trade Local challenge, run during the second week of August by the Federation of Small Businesses, used local papers the Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times, plus Facebook and Twitter, to get the message across.

The campaign encourages people to shop locally and resulted in a huge boost to business revenue over the week.

One participating business was fruit and veg shop Adam’s Orchard, in Carterton.

Owner Eden Clements said: “Anything that raises the profile of little shops like ours, which have been swamped by the big boys, is great. It’s helpful that it’s reminded people we are here and open for business.

“I don’t expect people to use us just because we are a local shop and no-one owes us a living. What I’d say is just give us a chance.”

Wykham Park Farm Shop, near Banbury, was another independent that took part.

Owner Julia Colegrave said: “Anything like this is helpful.

“We notice that people flock to us whenever there is any kind of food scandal, like the recent one over horse meat, which boosted our sales of meat by 30 per cent.

“But people have short memories and they slip back into their old ways.”

The campaign, in its second year, had backing from a number of local MPs including Andrew Smith, for Oxford East, and Banbury’s Sir Tony Baldry.

David Knowles-Leak, Thames Valley regional chairman, said: “The importance of local trade in respect of creating and maintaining sustainable communities cannot be underestimated.

"Small businesses are the most important drivers of jobs in the private sector and looking after local businesses and encouraging them to thrive IS a big part of the employment infrastructure of communities.”

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