Local business owners in Derry are the life blood of our city and we need to stand by them and support them, especially in these challenging economical times.
Far too many of our local businesses, good quality family-run establishments many of which survived 30 years of Troubles, have gone to the wall in recent times and it's time we, the people of Derry, took a stand and gave them a hand up.
If you want our city centre to continue to shine with the light of local entrepreneurship, of local talent, of resilience that Derry is renowned for then shop local, support the small trader, the local artist or craftsperson, the business men and women who took a chance to start a business in this city and are struggling daily to keep their doors open.
Every locally-owned business that is open today in Derry is fighting back daily against the recession, against the well-documented lack of investment in the northwest, against dire economic forecasts played out daily in the media, against astronomical business costs and reduced customer numbers. Many of them are struggling to keep their staff in jobs, to keep a roof over their heads, to feed their families. We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with them as a city and as a community.
In the coming weeks we will all be purchasing gifts for friends and family for Christmas. The multinational chainstores do not need your money, your local shops and businesses do.
Please shop locally and keep the heart of our beautiful city beating.