Halesworth traders urge for support after slow start to year
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Market traders are calling on the people of Halesworth to support their businesses after a slow start to the year.
The plea comes from some stallholders at the town’s Market Place as well as owners of several nearby independent shops.
They are appealing to the public to support the market after slower business than usual for January and February, but they also feel parking restrictions could be eased, and there are concerns over business rates which could threaten some in the town.
Rob Hailstone, who owns a bread stall in Halesworth Market Place as well as other locations such as Bungay and Beccles said: “I think the town could do with a boost.
“Business has been down a fair bit more than usual for January and February. Some of our regular customers who would come every week are now coming only every third or forth week and there are no new faces coming in which is something we desperately need to see coming into the market place.”
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Laura Brown, of the Feedbarn said increasing business rates could force businesses to close depending on how much they are increasing.
She said: “I think the town could do with more engagement especially by local people but it is a great town with a great community and everyone is looking for it to be more thriving than it is.
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“It is particularly difficult for shop owners to keep going with business rates being threatened. We are fighting, it will be difficult, but we really need the support from communities to try and help us through it.
“The business rates issues will result in shops shutting. We have a varied amount of independent shops in the town and we don’t really need any more large retail shops coming in.”
Alexander Carr who has been at the Market Place Wine Shop for 40 years said the town could do with permanent free parking facilities.
Alastair Macfarlene said: “We have got a wonderful range of shops here. A terrific book shop, card shop, great market, a restaurant, a café there is something in Halesworth for everyone.”