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Search on for high street heroes

PUBLISHED: 09:21 09 February 2009 | UPDATED: 14:59 07 July 2010

The search is on to discover the true heroes of our high streets in a new campaign aimed at celebrating local traders in Breckland.

Breckland Local Independent Shop Stars (Bliss) has been set up by the council to recognise the work of the district's small independent retailers and encourage people to shop local.

The search is on to find the heroes of our high streets in a new campaign aimed at celebrating local traders in Breckland.

Breckland Local Independent Shop Stars (Bliss) has been set up by the council to recognise the work of the district's small independent retailers and encourage people to shop local.

Shops are being asked to submit entries explaining why they are the retail stars of their community, and local residents will then be asked to vote for the businesses they think are the most deserving.

There will be an award for the best retailer in each of Breckland's five towns - Swaffham, Attleborough, Thetford, Dereham and Watton - and one for the best village shop

Bliss was launched by Breckland's economic and housing executive member Paul Claussen who said: "These small independent retailers provide individuality, colour and variety to our high streets and market places and they deserve our support in these difficult times.

"In many Breckland villages, the shop is often both a social hub and a lifeline for those without a car. This campaign is all about celebrating and championing our independent shops and giving residents the opportunity to register support for their favourites."

Money spent in local businesses rather than national chains tends to stay in the local economy longer because independent retailers tend to use more local services.

"It is believed a pound spent with a local business stays in the local economy for five more trans-actions, whereas a pound spent in a local branch of a national chain only stays in the local economy for two more trans-actions.

There is no official closing date for entries to the Bliss campaign but stores should enter as soon as possible by calling Becky Jefcoate on 01362 656235.

Breckland officers will take a Bliss stall to each town on market day so residents can vote:

Swaffham - Saturday, February 14

Attleborough - Thursday, February 19

Thetford - Saturday, February 21

Dereham - Tuesday, February 24

Watton - Wednesday, February 25

The stall will act as a voting station, carrying voting forms with a list of all the shops for that town which have registered to participate.

People will also be able to vote online on Breckland Council's website from tomorrow.

Visit Breckland's website on www.breckland.gov.uk/news_top_of_the_shops

Residents who can't get to one of the towns to vote, and don't have access to the internet, can phone Breckland Council (01362 656870) and ask for Becky Jefcoate. Becky will explain how to vote by post.

The winners will be announced in March and be acknowledged at the Breckland Pride Awards ceremony on March 20.

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