A CAMPAIGNING body for rural communities has urged shoppers to buy local this Christmas.
The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) which is based in Easingwold, said local shops play a vital role in supporting small rural communities and provide much-needed jobs.
Dorothy Fairburn, regional director for CLA North, said: “As small independent retailers continue to be squeezed out of the market, buying Christmas presents and festive food locally is more important than ever.
“Not only will it boost the rural economy at a crucial time, but could actually make Christmas shopping much more enjoyable.”
Miss Fairburn said “Local shops contribute a great deal to the economic health of our area, but are under threat not just from large supermarkets, but also the boom in internet shopping.
“A good festive season can help ensure that local businesses survive and maintain vital jobs and services through quieter times of the year.
“I would urge shoppers to avoid the traffic queues, expensive parking and packed pavements, and explore what’s on offer in their local farm shop, village store, farmers’ market or in our market towns where traditional, independent shops are still plentiful.”