I visited some of the shops in Great Yeldham earlier this week and it is clear that despite on-line shopping and out of town shopping centres the traditional village shop still has an important role.
As well as providing goods and services the local shop is also a community hub, ad-hoc advice bureaux and local information provider.
It is often the case that when a regular older customer fails to appear as usual it is the village shopkeeper who notices and raises concerns. Loosing village shops has a significant and detrimental effect on their local communities.
Local government and national government have a role in supporting village shops. Making sure parking availability is protected, cutting red tape and taxes and making sure that shopkeepers take advantage of direct support like the Rural Business Rate Relief.
Village shops are about more than business, they are about people and we should all support them.