From Pat and Gerald Rees, Bembridge

One of the consequences of the current lockdown is the feeling, experienced by many independent shops that they have been treated unfairly.

Our son set up his two clothing shops in Newport when he was 19 and for 35 years he has worked hard to build his business and provide employment for his staff.

Unlike supermarkets, he has been ordered to shut.

Unlike supermarkets, he does not have the financial resources to ride out a lockdown without the potential of his business closing for good.

Arbitrary regulations mean that whereas he is unable to open to sell clothes, supermarkets are able to sell clothes in addition to obviously essential items such as food.

He, along with other independent shopkeepers, will look at other ways of selling including on line and click and collect but the next few weeks, which are normally the busiest of the year for retailers, will inevitably

be difficult.

There are two conclusions to be drawn from this experience.

Firstly, that this government pays far more heed to the lobbying of powerful supermarkets than listening to the concerns of independent retailers on whom so many High Streets are dependent.

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Secondly, that now more than ever small independent shops need our support to survive and prosper