LAST week the Argus relaunched our We're Backing Newport campaign - in which we're shouting about everything that makes the city a great place to live, visit and do business.

But that doesn't mean we've been quiet in the past - boosting local businesses is an important part of what we do every day.

One of the ways the Argus supports businesses in the area is through our regular Shop Local column, in which we feature one of the area's valued independent businesses.


We do this because we believe in local business and want to see it thrive.

Importantly, for businesses looking for an audience, these features are free.

We spoke to three businesses we previously featured about how it helped them.

Abigail Chamberlain, of Welsh Luxury Hampers - who we featured in November last year - said the feature “brought a whole new business contract and a lot more customers”.

South Wales Argus:

Shop Local. Abigail Chamberlain who runs The Welsh Luxury Hamper Co. Picture:

Ms Chamberlain, 20, set up her online store in October this year. A university dropout, she had to learn and adapt in a competitive environment at a critical time for any business: Christmas.

But she says the Argus’ coverage “was amazing”.

She ran a similar story in a rival publisher – paying for the privilege – saying that piece “generated absolutely nothing”.

“To compare it with the Argus, the difference was amazing," she said

“It just goes to prove that local news coverage is really important and can have an effect.”

This sentiment is echoed by Hannah Brown, 26, who runs Hannah’s Cakes in Risca alongside partner Amy Sanford, 29.

South Wales Argus:

Hannah Brown (R) and Amy Sandford who run Hannah's Cake Shop in Risca. Picture:

She used to sell her homemade cakes and treats from home but decided to set up a new shop in August, and we featured the business the same month.

“It was absolutely the right decision (to open a shop),” Ms Brown said. “It has gone so well.”

And she said that after mentioning that they were pondering opening up a second shop in the Valleys in our Shop Local feature, she was met with a wave of positivity.

“A lot of people thought that it was a good idea and talked to us about it," she said. “We had really good feedback from that feature.”

Lesley Skiffington, who runs Heart of the Home in Newport Arcade, said the feature last month had “definitely helped her business”.

South Wales Argus:

Lesley Skiffington, of Heart of the Homes in Newport Arcade

Her shop houses a selection of unique and interesting gifts and she says the story, which we ran in the lead-up to Christmas, really boosted trade.

“A lot of customers were coming in and saying, ‘Oh we saw you in the Argus’," she said.

“I have to praise you (the Argus) up.”

We love Newport - so much so we're moving to a new home in the city centre later this year - and we hope this shines through in our Shop Local features and through the We're Backing Newport campaign.

If you want your independent shop featured in the paper and online, email