How YOU can help your town!

SHOPS across Lowestoft are today being given a pre-Christmas boost.

A passport to happy festive shopping is now in store, thanks to The Journal – and you, our valued readers.

Today we launch a new 'Shop Local for Christmas' scheme, which will encourage people to do their festive shopping in the town and areas around them instead of heading to the bright lights, and traffic jams, of Norwich and Ipswich.

The call is going out to locals to back the town's retailers as traders and business leaders join forces with The Journal to launch a 10-week campaign.

And by taking part in this scheme, one lucky shopper could receive the best Christmas present of all – with the chance of winning a �1,000 festive cash bonus!

With Lowestoft and the surrounding areas having plenty of shops that are brimming with gifts and goods to brighten a loved one's Christmas, and save you being trapped in queues at the car park and check out.

These trading hubs on our doorstep are worth supporting and The Journal campaign aims to do just that – while shoppers getting their special 'passports' fully stamped will also have the chance to win a �1,000 cash prize.

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Simply by picking up a 'passport' from a particpating shop and collecting stamps from 10 different stores you will be able to enter a draw for the big cash prize.

The scheme has already been welcomed by many local traders – among them Palmers Department Store in London Road North, Godfreys in Suffolk Road and many, many more.

Palmers director Stuart McGee welcomed the initiative this week. He said: 'It's important that people support what is on their doorstep; in effect use it or lose it.

'In Lowestoft we have many independent stores and businesses which cater for every need and in many cases they are local business owners employing local people.'

Echoing these sentiments, Lowestoft Town Centre Manager, Emma King, was fully supportive of the scheme.

'It's a great idea and one we really need in Lowestoft,' she told The Journal.

And admitting the Shop Local initiative would help 'sustain the local economy,' while the recession continues to bite, Mr McGee added: 'This initiative will help sustain the local economy and by Shopping Local people will help in keeping the businesses we already have here –- there is no need to go elsewhere, it's all here, on your doorstep.'

Shops across the area will be joining the Shop Local for Christmas scheme over the coming weeks, and each Friday –– as well as on The Journal website –– we will be bringing you information on how to support the scheme, and your local businesses, as well as a chance to win a �1,000 prize.