Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'We Need to Pull Together ... the North Easterner Has Always Had to Fight ... We Can Fight for Survival' THINK NORTH EAST FIRST Supporters Rally Round Our Campaign

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'We Need to Pull Together ... the North Easterner Has Always Had to Fight ... We Can Fight for Survival' THINK NORTH EAST FIRST Supporters Rally Round Our Campaign

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Pattinson

TODAY The Journal launches a new campaign to support the North East through the global financial crisis.

We believe the best chance of recovery for the region lies in pulling together and coordinating our efforts.

That's why we're asking families and businesses to Think North East First.

The success of our Taste campaign's effort to encourage people to "buy local, use local, eat local", has shown the impact the united buying power of our readership can have.

Now we're asking families and businesses to treat every spending occasion as an opportunity to reinvest in the region's economy.

The North East offers a vast variety of home grown products and services. And it is home to some of the UK's most spectacular places to visit plus a huge amount of history and culture.

If we strive to buy locally, more wealth can be kept here and we can watch the value of every pound spent multiply.

Our backers already include Sir John Hall, the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, One North East, Newcastle and Sunderland football clubs, the NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Nissan, Sir Peter Vardy, Beamish, transport group Go North East, Newcastle Falcons, the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC), Northumbrian Water, and outdoor clothing retailer Berghaus.

Now we would like to know how The Journal and its readers can make a difference. What would be the most effective way we could help your firm as the recession strikes? What would it take just to tip the balance in favour of survival or success for your company?

Journal editor Brian Aitken said: "We believe now's the time for the North East to show its collective spirit and rally round for the good of the region.

"This region is rich in companies that offer fantastic goods and services as well as some brilliant places to spend a day out or a holiday. Just by thinking North East before spending money, people in can make a tangible difference."

Last night former Newcastle United owner and prominent businessman Sir John Hall dubbed Think North East First a "clarion call" to the region.

"We need to get the spirit going again, it's about pride," said the MetroCentre founder, who has guided his business empire through three recessions.

"There's a lack of confidence at the moment. Someone needs to bind us, and lead us out of this. Someone needs to make us feel good again.

"The Journal is leading a clarion call to the region, which we need to follow.

When investors start to feel good, that's when we will start to emerge. The idea behind this campaign is bringing people and ideas together, and that's what we need.

"There is a difficult time ahead, and I think things will get worse before they get better. We need to pull together. The North Easterner has always had to fight, so fighting will not be a problem. …

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