Today is National Independents Day, a campaign to help independent local shops survive against the onslaught of the supermarkets. Sponsored by a national newspaper, it has a couple of slogans, 'Local and proud of it' and 'My shop is your shop'. It's a day designed to encourage more people to shop locally.
Andrew Smith of the Audlem Village Traders' Association said at a village meeting last month that if every Audlem household switched £5 a week of their spending from the supermarkets to local shops in the village, that would add up to £5,000 a week or £250,000 a year. That's a figure that would make all the difference to the local economy in Audlem but would hardly be noticed by the supermarkets. It will, however, mean there might be a choice in the future for all those who need to, or want to, shop locally – without a 14 mile round trip to the nearest supermarket – at probably £5 in fuel costs each time. Audlem has already lost both its garages in recent years. Virtually the only places to buy petrol now are the supermarkets. National Independents Day might just be the first step in avoiding that fate with everything else local people have to buy.
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