FEW traders know the importance of shopping locally more than those in an often overlooked street in Southampton city centre.

Staff from the independently run pie shop, art supply store, sewing centre and others in East Street turned out to back the Daily Echo Buy Local, Shop Local campaign.

In these tight times it is more important than ever that people dig deep and support small shops and businesses.

It could be something as small as picking up lunch at a local bakery instead of the supermarket or buying a new set of pens from a small stationery shop as opposed to a massive retailer.

Chairman of East Street Traders’ Association Rashmi Chande said: “The Daily Echo is doing a fantastic thing with this campaign. It is absolutely vital that people support their locals shops. We sometimes get missed tucked away down here.

“However, when people find us they come back, as you get specialist shops here that sell things you can’t find in the bigger shops.

The owner of Perry’s art and office supplies at 109 East Street, Mr Chande went on to say this part of the city centre was a jewel in Southampton’s shopping crown, with an amazing array of local stores.

Many businesses in the street have put the Daily Echo campaign posters in their windows to show their support and urge others to take up the cause.