Local support for local business

THE future of Helston’s town centre is under the microscope once again with news that two Helston residents have presented a list to the local council suggesting how to revitalise the town.

The pair are part of a group that put forward ideas to the council earlier this year before being invited to present to the full council last week. Ideas are said to include setting up a Community Interest Company (CIC) similar to a successful venture in Porthleven.

It is suggested that a public meeting should be held where people can discuss how to develop a community plan and find funding for schemes.

Although the project sounds highly exciting, it may be worth noting that we already have a varied collection of highly professional businesses trading in the town and many issues could be reduced if more people took the opportunity to support them.

It could be that existing shops and businesses would benefit from additional retailers being added to the mix, yet retail decision makers would only consider Helston as a viable option if there was a decent footfall on our high street.

I regularly read plenty of negativity on social media about our town with discussions focused on what can’t be bought from local shops rather than the wide array of goods available.

Shopping habits have undeniably changed with the internet accounting for an increasing proportion of purchases, yet it is still possible to spend a couple hours browsing our local shops while making impulse purchases and passing the time chatting with shop workers, before sitting down for a cuppa and slice of cake.

Buying goods locally enables us to invest directly in our local economy, demonstrates community pride and is good for the planet.

The burden of high rents, increasing business rates and car parking charges are felt daily by most local shops. If we want to protect our town centre and create new jobs to breathe new life into Helston, it’s vital we all ‘do our bit’ and shop locally whenever we can.

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