TIMES are tough for retailers, and perhaps nowhere more so than in Shirley. Stratford Road has seen the growth of charity shops, banks and building societies while small, precious, individual retailers have had to shout to draw attention to themselves and bring the customers in.
All the more surprising then, perhaps, that a Shirley Town Centre Partnership event at The Village Hotel that offered free marketing tips and free websites for local businesses should have been so poorly attended.
Of course, joining the Partnership costs money but when times are tight and shoppers are picking and choosing, knowing the right way to promote your business is vital to pull in trade.
The same can be said for websites. So much more business is being done over the internet via mail order, while the world wide web offers a shop window far larger than any plate glass affair on Stratford Road.
We all want to see Shirley prosper, and people are working hard to make sure that happens - supporting them would be a big step to ensuring that this happens.