A RALLYING cry has gone out to independent traders in Dorchester to work together to celebrate all they bring to the town.

County town traders are being invited to a special meeting to discuss ways independent businesses can join forces for the greater good.

Jim Ross, from Durnovaria Wine Bar in South Street, said that in the face of growing competition from places like Brewery Square, it was time for the independents to raise awareness about their unique offerings.

He stressed it was not about creating a sense of ‘us against them’ in conflict with the square, but promoting the profile of the town’s independents so consumers can make an informed decision.

Mr Ross said: “The consumer always has a choice. This is about independent businesses getting together to promote awareness and give all the information so the consumer can make a choice.”

Mr Ross said that independent businesses were part of what made Dorchester so special, and in his efforts of trying to encourage them to work together he has realised quite how many there are in the town.

He said: “There are a lot of us here and they bring diversity and uniqueness and Dorchester is very lucky to have that.

“You can look at other towns that have lost a lot of that.”

Mr Ross said that the other way in which independents boosted the town was that money spent in independent shops and businesses was retained in the local economy.

He said there were more than 100 people who had already expressed an interest in working together to promote the town’s independent offerings.

Mr Ross said that by working together businesses can obtain better value than if they go it alone and everyone will benefit.

He said: “Together we can do things much cheaper and hopefully create a bit of an independent vibe around the town.”

Ideas being put forward include posters and leaflets to promote the independents in the town.

Town councillor David Taylor said it was important to recognise all that independent traders contributed to the town and welcomed the idea of them working together.

This week retailers across the country will also mark Independents Day on Friday an event which celebrates the role of independent traders.

The meeting for Dorchester traders is being held at Taste in Trinity Street from 7pm on Monday, July 7. Anyone with an independent business in the town is encouraged to come along.