Shop locally to beat recession
SUPPORT our local shops and services if you want them to survive the recession – that's the message from Hayling's business community.
Hayling Island Businessmen's Club's publicity officer – estate agent Roy Pine - appealed to Islanders to spend at least part of their money locally
He said: "The public really can help. We are all worried about the economic prospects for Hayling in 2009 but, if everybody could at least spend a little bit of money on the Island, then all our local businesses would benefit
"Out there on the High Street, it's tough; in fact the world of retail is very tough indeed at the moment.
"It hasn't been easy on Hayling Island, since internet sales and major stores have been eating into our local businesses.
"Major companies are now heavily discounting as well, making life even more difficult for small, independent shops.
"There is a danger that some of our Hayling stores may not survive, in fact a few have closed already.
"No-one on Hayling is likely to make a lot of money during this period, but if everyone on the Island decided to spend a little more money locally, then our own business people would at least be able to make a living.
"If you want to see local shops in the area where you live, then you must use them.
"With the help of the community, our local businesses should be able to struggle through the recession."
Hayling solicitor Donald Ramsbottom agreed: "It would be great if people would spend some of their money on Hayling, rather than buying everything on line.
"From a solicitor's point of view, I am aware that we do provide a local service.
"This is very important, particularly for our ageing population on Hayling, who still need to help with wills and other legal advice, and who might find it difficult to travel off the Island by bus.
"More than ever, local businesses do need our support. People will regret it if they find they can't pop down to the local shops or visit a solicitor on the Island.
"You have to remember that, once local shops and services have disappeared, they won't come back."
Tony Higham, chairman of Hayling's BEST Market Town Initiative, is concerned about what he describes as "the lack of any coherent business group on the Island" and the dispersed nature of the Island shopping centres.
He added: "Another problem that is probably universal is the lack of understanding that a healthy local economy is important to everyone's well-being.
"Pension and other sources of funding do not just come from London, but someone has to earn that money across the country and the health of our local economy is equally important.
"Thus many of the 'antis to everything' seem not to understand that. These seem to be the ones that often have the strongest voices.
"Clearly in a community and within an environment such as Hayling, all aspects of decision-making have to be considered before controversial choices are made.
"The Seafront Master Plan is a good example. Many people are adamantly against it but have not even looked at it, even one of our councillors.
"They assume the whole seafront will be concreted over.
"However any development is only at places that are already developed and are largely aimed at improving those areas not extending them.
"A possible exception is the bottom of Chichester Avenue but that will not happen in its most extensive form."
The MTI also recognises the importance of tourism and has launched a number of initiatives to promote the Island, including the Scarecrow Festival, the Playing on the Plaza music events and the Christmas Window Spotting Competition, while the Discover Hayling group's tourism and heritage initiatives such as the promotional DVD, historical information booklets and the replica stocks at Eastoke Corner have been very well-received.
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Weather for Hayling
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: West