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We should all be giving support to our local traders

Donald C McFetridge's article on the vulnerability of high street trading (DebateNI, March 20) is worrying in many ways.

More and more people shop online. Most of these shoppers have never been in business and yet they depend on local firms to support them by advertising in school and church magazines and sponsoring sporting, music and drama events.

Local business rates go a long way to financing town leisure centres, as well as giving employment to local people.

They also use local firms for building repairs and shop refits and for the supply of their printing needs, thereby creating further employment.

These small, often family-owned traders are the heart of the community and without them town centres will become very soulless places and much-needed sponsorship will disappear.

Internet shopping is not always the cheapest and I would encourage people to shop locally and support the businesses which support them. Remember: online firms give nothing back.

DEREK CURTIS

Londonderry

Belfast Telegraph

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