EASTBOURNEand Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell was out this weekend supporting local retailers on Small Business Saturday by buying Christmas presents in a host of independent stores.

Caroline played her part in the annual national initiative on 5Th December designed to encourage shoppers to buy local and independent to keep high streets alive.

This year the need is more urgent than ever as many independent retailers and crafters have suffered due to the pandemic.

On a busy weekend, Caroline went to the Enterprise Shopping Centre and its independent stores including Lucy at Flowers of Eastbourne. She then had coffee & cake at Jocelyn’s before visiting Not Just A Comic Shop and All Things Analogue.

She then travelled to Albert Parade and she picked up a Christmas treat for her cats at The Two Jays Pet Store.

Later she praised students and staff when she popped into Chalk Farm Christmas Market, which was full of handmade gifts and helped raise funds for the charity. 

Last stop was meeting Joanna and Ray of Inperspective Arts, Crafts & Models in Langney Shopping Centre where Caroline bought a picture of one her favourite pubs – The Lamb Inn.

“I had a great time out shopping and supporting the wonderful independent shops we have all over Eastbourne and I was so pleased to see these retailers in good cheer and confident they will have a good run-up to Christmas,” said Caroline.

“Coronavirus has made life very difficult but these stores have risen to the challenge, become covid-secure and are now open for business.

“To everyone, I say this: please, please, please buy local if you can. These shops need their communities to support them right now so they can continue to flourish. The online giants don’t need our cash this Christmas but our local traders do.”