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INDEPENDENT traders in Hornsea are terrified they are losing out to bigger businesses.
Alvin Wilkinson has run his "bits and bobs" store Countdown in Newbegin for the past 20 years.
He said: "There are no customers coming in. Newbegin is deserted.
"It is devastating. I've never seen the town so deserted – it is soul-destroying."
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When a Tesco store opened in the town in January, while some welcomed the new supermarket, others opposed it.
Mr Wilkinson now thinks the store is making things more difficult for the independent traders.
He said: "We've not seen Christmas yet but the store has already hit us.
"I'm not angry with Tesco but it is too big for Hornsea.
"We are not going to get the Christmas trade we used to and I am really worried.
"This situation is really difficult but I won't give up without a fight."
Mr Wilkinson said he is £1,500 down on takings every week compared with last year. This is about £6,000 a month.
He said: "Business is becoming a real struggle.
"I can't keep going on losing all of that money. I just can't do it. Tesco sells all sorts of things – it is a town centre of its own."
Jayne Singleton owns Singletons greengrocers in Newbegin and said her shop is also suffering.
She said: "We just don't get the footfall anymore.
"It is a shame. We are all local people and employing other local people.
"We have had to cut staff hours and it's a shame things are going this way when we are a good established business and put money back into the city."
A Tesco spokeswoman said the Hornsea store has had great customer feedback since it opened.
She said: "There is clear evidence more people are doing their shopping in Hornsea instead of driving out of town now."
Despite the negative comments from some of the independent traders, in the past year, Hornsea has also welcomed a new development to try and attract more people to shop in the town.
Developer Innovative Space (Ispace) invested £2.4m transforming the old petrol station site in Newbegin into six retail units and is now home to a number of national brands including the Original Factory Shop. This site was developed to encourage more people to shop in the town.
The Tesco spokeswoman said: "The fact that other stores have opened in the town centre shows confidence in its future and that must be good for consumers generally."
However, one independent trader wants people to support the independent traders who are using the local suppliers.
Ben Connolly has run the Food Shop in Newbegin for the past 12 years.
Mr Connolly said: "We get our products from local suppliers but if we can't sell products, we can't get supply from them.
"All of the profits will end up going out of the town. We need to support the locals.
"We are 30 per cent down on last year. I am upset, not just for ourselves but for the staff we have lost."
Countdown's Mr Wilkinson and his fellow independent shop owners want some support.
Mr Wilkinson said: "We want the council to help. I want somebody to fight on my behalf and say that they are behind me and doing their best to help."
Jane Crossley, East Riding Council renaissance programmes manager, said that at a time when many town centres are experiencing a high level of vacant shops, Hornsea has seen the opening of the Ispace development and new parking spaces, giving a greater choice for the shopper.
She also said the council is supporting businesses in Hornsea by running a scheme to give shoppers free weekend parking in the run up to Christmas.
She said: "Hornsea Area Renaissance Partnership (Harp) has delivered two projects this year to encourage people to visit and spend longer in the town.
"Working with local businesses and the school, colourful banners were designed and attached to lamp posts along Newbegin celebrating Hornsea's attractions and adding to the ambience in the town centre."
She also said the partnership is working with Visit Hull And East Yorkshire (Vhey) to promote its free membership scheme for all businesses.
Simon Tudor is the president of the Hornsea And District Chamber Of Trade and said the Chamber is working to support local businesses.
He said: "The Hornsea And District Chamber of Trade aims to make Hornsea as attractive and vibrant a place to visit as possible and to support local businesses and help them to prosper.
"These are difficult economic times for everyone, and we are attempting to do all we can for local businesses in order for them to thrive."