Christmas shoppers are urged: ‘Please support local traders’

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BALLYCLARE and Glengormley traders have appealed to the public to back local businesses in the final shopping days before Christmas.

It’s been a tough 2012 for trade in Newtownabbey with a number of businesses and major employers either relocating or shutting down.

However, representatives of traders in both Ballyclare and Glengormley are optimistic that the coming new year - and with it substantial government investment - will provide a boost to local business.

Ed Burns, chair of the Glengormley Traders Association incorporating Glengormley Chamber of Commerce told the Times: “It’s been a tough and challenging year.

“There has been a fair few casualties and businesses have had to shut while others have relocated out of the town. We have around one in four shops empty but in the same year and through the hard work and dedication of our committee we have secured almost £1million in investment and work has already started on the regeneration of Glengormley.

“Plans are already underway to improve Portland Avenue, the Ferbro Buildings and the area around the car wash and that is a great positive that we hope will be able to kick start the community.

“We know it is not a magic bullet and things will not turn around overnight, but we are working hard, doing what we can to encourage more business and people into the town by making it more attractive.”

Mr Burns added: “We would encourage people to support their local shop and businesses, whenever they can.

“The message is that Glengormley is very much so open for business and we are looking forward to a prosperous new year.”

Darren Black president of the Ballyclare Chamber of Trade also thanked the community for its support.

He said: “It’s been a tough and challenging year with its highs and lows, but I’d like to thank everyone for their support and custom throughout the past 12 months.

“We are looking forward to the new year, especially with the town’s regeneration works hopefully getting the go-ahead in the coming weeks, which will provide a welcome boost to the town.

“In the mean time I would like to encourage people to consider the independent traders of Ballyclare for that last minute gift and I wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.”