Tuesday 4 December 2012
Small businesses are working together to ensure their local high streets are still decorated over the Christmas period.
Amid local council funding cuts, many public light switch-ons up and down the UK have been cancelled this year.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) says the absence of festive illuminations and other decorations may cause a drop in footfall in town and city centres.
And with traditional retailers already struggling to compete with online vendors, this is the last thing many firms need.
John Walker, national chairman of the FSB, said it is "a real disappointment" that many local councils removed funding for Christmas lights on their high streets.
"We all know that UK high streets have been suffering for some time and Christmas can be make or break a business for the year ahead," he stated.
"So ensuring that our high streets are attractive and drive in trade is important – something that having festive lights does."
Mr Walker claimed small companies and communities have shown resilience and creativity to ensure they do not lose out this festive season.
"They are coming up with innovative ways to raise funds for their lights or to get people to the high street," he noted.
In some towns - including Monton and Tewkesbury - small firms have raised thousands of pounds themselves to shine lights on their high streets.
Posted by Sarah Parish