COMMENT: We must try harder to support our exciting independent shops

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I’m a little bit of a music nerd - there I said it, but it’s true.

I like all sorts of bands and artists and love to discover new things that I’ve never heard before. So you can imagine my excitement when Aylesbury got its very own music store - Second Earth Records.

Content Editor Hayley O'Keeffe

Content Editor Hayley O'Keeffe

And I’m not the only one, on a Saturday morning the market stall is buzzing with music lovers like me, browsing the vinyl and CDs on offer and enjoying a chat about the acts that they love. You can also pick up a copy of the NME for free, or Aylesbury’s own great zine Sound And Vision, and check out a packed notice board which promotes all that’s going on in the town.

The guys who run Second Earth are trying to find a venue in Aylesbury to make the store more than just a market stall, and I’m sure even non-record collectors will agree that this is pretty positive and exciting news.

But, like a string of independent ventures before them, they are struggling to make the leap, because of off-putting business rates and rents in the town centre.

There is nothing that any of us normal folks can do to help them in these aims, we do not set business rates, or run incentive schemes for new ventures.

But, what we can do with Second Earth, and all of Aylesbury’s brilliant independent stores is this: Shop at them!

If you need some cool new threads don’t just look online go to one of our great independent boutiques. It may be a little more expensive, but you’ll get something pretty original and cool.

And if you want to go out to eat, don’t just hit the chains - there are plenty of independent cafes and restaurants where you will get a great dining experience too!

We even have our very own comic book shop, so why not take a look in there, it’s pretty awesome!

Because if, on a very local level we don’t support these things they won’t survive, and wouldn’t that be a 
shame.

Independent shops and eateries are going to be what sets Aylesbury apart from homogenised retail centres like Milton Keynes, they are going to be what gives our town centre a unique and authentic buzz for years to come.

So let’s all jump on that bandwaggon, because there is a lot that our high street has to offer!