Traders in Flintshire offered help to survive

Shotton town centre The roadshow aims to help traders in town centres like Shotton

Traders in Flintshire are being offered free advice sessions aimed at helping them survive the pressures on small businesses.

During a "retail roadshow" an expert will give them practical ideas on attracting more customers, reducing costs and improving profitability.

They will also be told how they can apply for grants to help improve the appearance of their shopfronts.

The first council-run session will be held in Buckley later.

The Helping the High Street roadshow will then visit Holywell, Shotton and Mold over the next fortnight.

A Flintshire council spokesman said it was hoped the sessions would help independent retailers during a time when "reports and forecasts continued to show a decline in high street sales".

Start Quote

There are figures which show that about 12,000 shops across the UK closed last year”

End Quote Mike Learmond, Federation of Small Businesses

Mike Learmond, north Wales regional co-ordinator for the Federation of Small Businesses, urged traders to get involved.

"There are figures which show that about 12,000 shops across the UK closed last year," he said.

"It's reckoned that supermarkets take £7 out of every £10 spent in the High Street, so anything that can be done to support independent retailers and help them survive through these difficult times must be welcomed."

He said Denbighshire council had also organised a meeting last week to provide support for independent traders.

"Retailers have to play their part when this sort of help is being offered," he added.

"There's a big job to be done in persuading people to change their shopping habits and give more support to independent retailers - when money is spent in the local economy, most of it stays in the local economy and that's what we have to encourage."

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