IT is hoped that in the final days before Christmas people will give traders in Ludlow and the other market towns the best present of all by spending generously with local businesses.

Ludlow has staged its third and final Tinsel Tuesday Market.

This is an initiative that is organised by Ludlow Chamber of Commerce and Trade in conjunction with the Town Council.

During December the Tinsel Tuesday markets are held on the first three Tuesdays in December.

They involve market stalls with a special Festive theme in a bid to creative a Christmas atmosphere in the town and boost trade on what can be one of the quieter days of the week.

Whilst it is hoped that market traders do well the initiative is also intended to benefit other shops and businesses in the town. It is hoped that the increased footfall will bring an all around benefit.

The Tinsel Tuesday markets are also supported with a free parking concession for part of the day from Shropshire Council.

The Tuesday markets in December were introduced as an alternative to late night opening that was not considered to be bringing the benefit that had been hoped for.

For many traders the sales in the vital weeks at the end of November and into early December can make the vital difference between survival and going under.

It is a time of year that is especially vital for food and drink businesses.

The starting gun was fired on the main Christmas selling season with the Medieval Fair and the switch-on on the Festival lights.

One of the issues that will become clear when the cashing up is done is the impact upon trade locally as a result of the heavy snowfall and disruption in the important second week of December.

The snowfall keeps people away from the shops but can also mean that people are more likely to spend locally because they do not want to travel in bad weather.

Ludlow shops are still evaluating the impact of changes to business rates that has left some traders facing major increases in what they pay.