More than 350 independent businesses in Needham Market, Stowmarket, Sudbury, Hadleigh and Eye have signed up for a new campaign which is encouraging shoppers to spend money on their local high street this Christmas.

The 'Virtual High Street' website boasts hundreds of special offers from many of Suffolk's most loved independent businesses and is the brainchild of Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council.

Many of the shops and cafes on the specially created Virtual High Street website are offering discounts, in the run up to Christmas.

Amongst the businesses signed up for the campaign are family run Coffee Craft 'N' Moore who at the weekend celebrated five years on Needham Market High Street.

Recently the team at the shop, which started 13 years ago at the back of Needham Market Post Office, spent a whole day decorating the the coffee shop with thousands of baubles to bring a bit of Christmas cheer to their customers.

Chloe Moore, who works at the coffee and craft shop alongside her husband Steve Moore and mother-in-law Lesley Moore said: "Much has been said about the decline of the high streets but with people having worked from home for over a year, more people are appreciating their local area and lockdown has definitely proved this.

"Needham Market is a great place to shop as the shops are all independent shops which make our high street unique."

Mrs Moore added: "The importance of the high street is it provides jobs for locals and you get a more personal experience and service."

The first Virtual High Street was built on a concept initially launched in Sudbury in March 2020 after Sudbury Town Council identified an opportunity to support businesses during the first national lockdown.

Councillor Michael Holt, Babergh District Council's member for economic growth said: "The Virtual High Street has provided real support to a number of Babergh's businesses and for many offered a digital presence for the first time.

"Spending just £5 on the local high street can have a huge impact to local businesses and the wider local economy."

Mid Suffolk District Council leader councillor Suzie Morley added: "The way we shop has changed over the last 18 months and more people are choosing to shop local and support their high streets."

To find our more about the local offers on the Virtual High Street or sign up as a business, you can visit

Earlier this week traders in Ipswich urged customers to support them this Christmas.