A NEW year rallying cry has been issued to support independent traders who help make Dursley an ‘exceptional’ place to visit.

Residents and traders are urging people to support local businesses to ensure they survive.

Currently, if you take a stroll along Parsonage Street you can buy anything from handmade sausages, haberdashery and specialist orthopaedic shoes, to a top camera, or even a Fender guitar – and in between browsing in the shops there are several independent cafes to enjoy.

One Dursley resident felt so strongly that people should use this ‘amazing high street’ or risk losing the independent businesses that she took to Facebook with an impassioned plea.

Posting under the heading ‘rallying cry!’ on Dursley Matters Facebook page, Emily White said: “We have an amazing high street. It is a privilege to be able to walk to a proper hardware store, fresh veg shop, butchers, award winning camera shop, get all gifts locally, milk, papers, top of the range guitars, and get shoes re-soled.

“This is exceptional. My friends from far afield are jealous.

“Please, please, can we shop in these shops, before they have to close because we have all stayed on the sofa and ordered online.

“Tomorrow please think first, if you could use an independent shop - who pays into local economy, pays their taxes and helps the town thrive.

“There is no use us all mourning when it’s gone.”

Dozens of people responded to the post to say how much they enjoy shopping in the town.

Suzi Abraham, who runs the Hummingbird Café, echoed the rallying cry. She told the Gazette: “Dursley is a friendly, quirky little town full of independent traders and a lot of family run businesses.

“We love our town and that’s why we chose to set our businesses up in Dursley. However, with more and more people shopping in Bristol, Gloucester and on the internet, the high street is at risk.

“If people don’t use what’s available to them and on their doorstep, local businesses are at risk of closure.

“Dursley businesses pride themselves on the attentive friendly service that we offer, but that’s because we love what we do. It’s definitely a different experience to shopping in the city.”

A Dursley Town Council representative said: “We fully encourage local residents and visitors to visit the many businesses located in the town. We have a lovely range of local independent shops, businesses and cafés. January can be a difficult month for small retailers and traders who provide such an important role in our community.”