I've known for a long time that a well-stocked convenience store can be the life blood of a community. A place where people can meet, catch-up and do their shopping.
But recently, I have seen for myself just what a difference independent retailers make to a community.
A few months back my Mum retired and although she had lived in the area for thirty years, she had always worked leaving the house at 8 in the morning and not returning until after 5pm. In the winter she didn’t see any of her neighbours and probably only visited her local shop once a month. She definitely was not part of the community.
But recently she has taken to visiting her corner shop every day. Every morning she manages to find some excuse as to why she needs to pop out to her local shop. Under the pretence that she needs to buy something. But my Dad and I know the truth, she has not just gone to get that loaf of bread, that tin of soup for lunch or the sweets for the Grandkids - she has gone round to have a natter and to get involved...