Over recent years, people have become aware that where they spend their money can have an impact on things beyond just the product or service they buy.
And when a shop is at the heart of its community, people know they’re contributing to just more than the local economy.
SilverDell, in Kirkham, was formed by Elaine Silverwood and Sue Wardell in 2003.
Both from a retail background, the pair were entering new territory.
But now they have turned the business into much more than just a local bookshop – an award-winning one at that.
Elaine said: “Our local market is absolutely crucial.
“It’s the bread and butter for any high street retailer.
“We’re very much at the heart of the community and it saddens me hugely when I see independent shops closing down because they don’t manage to survive for whatever reason.”
As well as a nice sideline in ice-creams, the business also takes literature out to the masses – with big booksigning events and talks across Lancashire and the Lakes.
Tonight sees one such event as legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is at Kirkham Grammar School for a book signing which is a sell-out.
Elaine added: “We play an important role.
“A lot of our customers are elderly and we try and take care of them. If we don’t see them for a while we get the police to check up on them to make sure they’re alright.”
So when you’re out and about doing your Christmas shopping, you have the power to choose where to spend your money. We’d love you to choose to spend it in ways that help our local economy to grow.
If you have any views about local business and shopping we would love to hear from you.
Write to our Letters Pages or take to Twitter and Tweet us you views @The_Gazette by using the hashtag #localeconomy.