In the run up to Christmas, shoppers are being encouraged to buy their presents in the stores in Bedford town.
In fact, a whole day – Small Business Saturday – has been created as a national scheme to support local businesses.
The initiative on December 6, is supported by BedfordBID, which was created to improve and promote businesses.
BedfordBID said: “Please visit town centre businesses in December – retail, restaurants or services – to help keep Bedford buzzing.
“Order your new TV or oven from our town centre suppliers, book your family, or office, party in Bedford and please remember to do at least some of your Christmas shopping with us.”
Ten new shops have recently opened, boosting choice for shoppers, and showing Bedford has a healthy retail trade.
These include new clothing stores, beauty businesses, food shops and services.
BedfordBID is also encouraging shoppers to “linger in Lime Street”, and visit Clair Court, where many independant retailers can be found.
For those looking to buy a present for a fussy friend or relative, the organisation is running its gift voucher scheme, Love Bedford Vouchers, which can be spent in the major and independent shops, bars and restuarants.
Vouchers can be bought from the Tourist Information Centre, and The Swan Hotel, in St Paul’s Square.