ECONOMIC downturn, credit crunch, recession.

None of these were enough to put off one brave entrepreneur who backs the Daily Echo Buy Local, Shop Local campaign and believes the small shop has a firm place in future of his community.

Grandfather Paul Pace, 50, has just opened a traditional village shop in the Park Road area of Chandler’s Ford – 20 years after the one on the same site closed its doors.

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The father of six hopes Park Road Stores will be the kind of local family business that can be passed on to future generations.

He said: “This is a fantastic campaign by the Daily Echo and we are proud to support it.

“The village shop is the heart of the area and without it a place really loses its sense of community.

“Local shoppers can walk in here without having to jump in their car and have a chat with people they know in a friendly environment.”

His commitment to the neighbourhood is perhaps best shown by the fact he does not sell alcohol or tobacco because he does not want to attract groups of youths who may bother his customers.

He also makes sure he picks up all his stock from the suppliers so residents are not woken up by noisy lorries.

The best selling items in the new store are sweets, milk, bread, eggs and, of course, the Daily Echo.

Our campaign urges people to spend their money in local shops which are the lifeblood of the economy.

In these financially difficult times it is more important than ever that shoppers support independent traders, whether you are buying a string of tasty sausages from the butcher or picking up a pint of milk from your local shop.

To compete with the supermarkets Paul is determined to offer everything they do and more.

To this end he is asking customers to put in requests for anything they would like to see for sale in his shop and will soon be running a delivery service.

It is not the first time Paul has taken the plunge in business and two years ago he bought the Floral Basket florist next door, which is run by his mother Phyllis, 80, and his wife Jill, 52, who also back the Daily Echo campaign.

More than 20 of his customers turned out to show their support.

More of our Buy Local Shop Local Campaign