THE manager of Coleraine’s Diamond Centre says people must make local shopping an all-year-round experience.
Backing The Coleraine Times Shop Local Campaign, Gwyneth McQuiston, said it was vital that people supported local traders during the economic recession.
And Gwyneth called on all the stakeholders to sing from the same hymnsheet in encouraging people to come into Coleraine to shop.
Gwyneth said: “Now that the country is in recession we have all had to re-evaluate how we do things in our lives to save money and it has brought us all back to our “core values” with life.
“It is a time to look out for one another and to support one another and this also needs to happen with our shopping, we need to shop local.
“It was very evident during Christmas that more people shopped locally and I feel they will continue to do so throughout the coming year.”
“With the cost of fuel - which is scandalous - people are now making a conscious decision on their fuel consumption and are thinking about not making journeys to other towns, they are now thinking ‘shop local.”
The Coleraine Times will carry a series of features in the coming weeks underlining the message that people should think local when making any purchases.
And Gwyneth said traders have a prominent role to play in our campaign:
“The traders in the town need to send out a unified message that Coleraine is open for business and that we are worth visiting – they need a strong marketing campaign and need support from local agencies across the board to give today’s customers what they want.
“Coleraine needs to think very clearly about how we get our local people into the town and people need to think about how they can make the best use of public transport etc to get into town due to the car parking constraints this town has had for a very long time.
“The town centre needs to group together and have uniformity in their opening hours especially at key trading times.
“Coleraine needs to move forward more quickly with decisions being made by our local agencies in a confident and quick manner – decisions need to be justified, taken and without fear of repercussion – if it is good for the traders and the shoppers then it is a good decision.”