OUR bid to get Hampshire residents to support their local shops and producers has reached Winchester.

Dozens of independent traders in the city have backed the Daily Echo’s new Buy Local, Shop Local campaign by displaying our campaign posters in their shop windows.

Everyone knows times are tight and we want shoppers to boost the local economy by spending money in locally owned businesses in and around Hampshire.

Whether it’s buying sausages from your local butcher, fruit and vegetables from high street greengrocers or treating yourself to a coffee in your neighbourhood café, the campaign is about spending money locally.

One of the first Winchester businesses to get on board was Café Centro on St Georges Street which has been run by husband and wife team Ray and Linda O’Connor for ten years.

Linda said: “It’s important that people support local shops as Winchester is unique for its independent shops. If people support us we will always be here for you.

“You get a better level of service with local shops.

Customers become friends and you know their needs immediately as soon as they walk into the shop.”

Husband Ray added: “We’ve had so many of the big players open in the high street and it keeps nibbling away at our business.

“Everytime one opens we lose a percentage of our local custom. We can’t compete with them on size and innovation but we can compete with them on price and service.”

Another shop owner who threw his weight behind the campaign was Peter Ponsford- Jones who has run The Clock Work Shop on Parchment Street for 15 years.

He said: “If you come to a shop such as ours you always get a personal service.

“A lot of our clients become friends.

Paul Moore, who has run Loot the Goldsmiths on Parchment Street for 28 years, added: “It’s obvious why people should buy local as small local independent retailers will close down if they do not get the customers.

“So I would encourage people whole heartedly to come in.”

Do you buy local, shop local? If so, tell us what you like about shopping locally. Maybe you prefer shopping in big chains? Ring the newsdesk on 023 8042 4501.