Shops PosterMy team and I have been around 343 local shops over the last few days to launch the ‘Sutton, Cheam & Worcester Park Independent Shop of the Year 2013’ competition in which Sutton & Cheam constituents can nominate and vote on-line for their favourite local independent retailer.

The competition is open until 17th October and whoever receives the most votes will be crowned Sutton, Cheam & Worcester Park’s Independent Shop of the Year. By voting in the competition, you can take the opportunity to say “thank you” to a local retailer that you feel has provided an excellent service to you and your family. One lucky voter will be picked at random to win £100 to spend in the shop they voted for.

We have some fantastic independent shops in our local area which we need to use if we are to keep them. It takes hard work to survive on our High Streets against the big names. Small shops need our help to survive and thrive in the shape of affordable, simple parking, lower rent and rates and of course, people choosing them over the chains and supermarkets. Over the next six weeks I hope to highlight the concerns of retailers and to promote the shops that are attracting interest from their customers.

This competition is a small way of letting our local retailers know how much we appreciate and support them and I hope you will spend a couple of minutes going to to vote for your favourite shop and encourage your friends and family to do likewise.