Support our high street shops with cash

Posted on: 19/12/2011

The future of Britain's high streets has been the subject of national debate this week after consumer guru Mary Portas (of Channel 4's Queen of Shops series) published her 28-point plan to revitalise the once busy and bustling streets.

Ms Portas - who's report was commissioned by David Cameron in May, after town centre vacancy rates were shown to have doubled since 2009 - believes that out of town shopping centres and large supermarkets are partly to blame for the decline in high street spending and has called on the government to make developments in local communities much easier.

The Queen of Shops called upon high street retailers to "take risks" in order to inject some prosperity and diversity into our town centres: "Our high streets can be lively, dynamic, exciting and social places that give a sense of belonging and trust to a community. Something which, as the recent riots clearly demonstrated, has been eroded and in some instances eradicated. Once we invest in and create social capital in the heart of our communities, the economic capital will follow."

While it is clear that big changes must be made in order to save our stores, we at Cash-is-Cool believe that more can be done by individual shoppers in order to help our local shops and businesses.

Retailers are increasingly bearing the brunt of outrageous card processing charges. Whilst an average cash transaction cost retailers just 1.7p in transportation and banking costs; credit card payments cost a whopping 37.1p and debit cards cost out at 9.2p. These costs are hitting British retailers hard: whilst credit cards were used in just 10% of all transactions last year, they made up more than 44% of processing cost burden.

By making an effort to carry cash and use it for the bulk of your day-to-day transactions, we can ensure that our locally-run shops and businesses will avoid the high costs of processing card payments. While big plans are being made to revolutionise the development of our high streets, this is not the time for us to take a back seat. Provide your high street with a helping hand by using cash!

With Christmas just around the corner there's no better time to start!

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