Saving shops as well as whales

FOLLOWING the example of The Hunts Post last year, Friends of the Earth has launched a new campaign urging consumers to Shop Local First with support from the Federation of Small Businesses. The campaign, seeking to protect local shops and the environme

FOLLOWING the example of The Hunts Post last year, Friends of the Earth has launched a new campaign urging consumers to 'Shop Local First' with support from the Federation of Small Businesses.

The campaign, seeking to protect local shops and the environment by reducing the number of trips taken in cars to out-of-town supermarkets, will aim to highlight the services and benefits of small shops that could be lost if current trends continue.

The decline of local shops has already entered the national consciousness with reports of "clone" towns across Britain, with high streets full of identical stores.

Yet the awareness that distinctive local shops are gradually disappearing, to the detriment of local infrastructure, needs to be raised before it is too late, in the view of Friends of the Earth and the FSB.

FSB Huntingdonshire chairman Malcolm Lyons said: "Unless people appreciate the service, flexibility and unique selling points of their local small shops they will be lost for ever. At present these precious community resources can be taken for granted.

"One day soon shoppers could look around their high street and wonder where the shops have gone. The FSB welcomes the initiative by Friends of the Earth and we fully support it."

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INFORMATION: Details of the campaign can be found at www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases The FSB is Britain's biggest business organisation with 195,000 members. It exists to protect and promote the interests of the self-employed, and all those who run their own business. More information at www.fsb.org.uk

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