December is upon us and the countdown to Christmas has begun for many of us.
For businesses, the festive period tends to be one of the most profitable of the year, as millions of consumers buy gifts for friends and family.
But up and down the UK, the normal sense of Christmas cheer appears to be missing on many high streets.
The reason is simple – councils have switched the lights off. Amid funding cuts, local authorities have slashed their festive decoration budgets, leaving town centres in the dark.
Clearly there is a need to rein spending in where possible, but councils should bear in mind the positive effects of Christmas lights in terms of encouraging people to visit town centres.
Businesses are already struggling to compete with online retail and need all the help they can get to drum up trade.
Many local business groups have organised their own lights in order to ensure there is something to draw customers in – but should this be their responsibility?
Or should local councils be prepared to invest a little in the health of the high street? After all, rows and rows of empty shop units will only lead to further problems for authorities.
The reality is that if businesses aren’t able to profit over the Christmas period, more once-successful firms will go to the wall.
Posted by the Secret Businessman