Honiton and Sidmouth traders are backing an East Devon ‘shop local’ campaign when Christmas shopping for gifts and food.
East Devon District Council has launched the scheme to give towns a boost and encourage residents to spend their money locally over the festive season.
East Devon businesses backing the campaign will be displaying Please Shop Here-Please Stop Here signs in their shop windows, in a bid to draw shoppers in.
Traders from Sidmouth and Honiton, supporting the scheme, said the benefits of shopping locally included promoting a diverse high street, boosting the local economy and greater choice for customers.
Ian Harbour, from the Honiton Pottery Workshop, in the High Street, who is displaying a please stop here sign, said: It’s really important for people to shop locally so that they know that they are supporting local workers and producers.
“Shopping locally contributes to the local economy and ensures the longevity of a thriving and diverse high street with greater choice for shoppers.”
The Coastal Boutique, also in Honiton High Street, taking part in the campaign, said buying locally was ‘good for our high street, our environment and our economy, adding ‘residents can really make a difference’ through Christmas shopping in East Devon.
John Wycherley, of Sidmouth Gifts, in Old Fore Street, said: “You can buy all kinds of gifts for Christmas if you shop locally – you really don’t need to travel far or shop online because there’s so much choice right here.”
Whoops A Daisy Florist, in the Market Place, Sidmouth, will be displaying a please stop here sign, because supporting local businesses was ‘important’ to ‘help our high streets to thrive’.
The campaign is funded by the European Regional Development Fund’s Welcome Back Fund.
EDDC said there a further phase of the campaign will be launching in the New Year, promoting East Devon as a tourist destination.
Councillor Paul Hayward, East Devon District Council deputy leader and portfolio holder for economy and assets, said: “Christmas is a key season for our high streets and there are many benefits for shopping locally.
“It helps boost the economy as reports show that with roughly 63 pence of every one pound spent at small or medium sized businesses stays within the local economy, compared with 40p spent with large businesses.
“It also more environmentally friendly to shop locally as there is a smaller carbon footprint.
“Small and medium sized businesses are also vital in keeping character and individuality to our high streets.”
The Christmas campaign will be supported by its own hashtag #EastDevonly which will also be used for the 2022 tourism drive.
EDDC said the hashtag Devonly was derived from adverb words that describe the attributes of East Devon – such as enticingly, surprisingly, sustainably, deliciously, wildly.