Retailers and indie owners attending next week’s Future High Street Summit Nottingham will be first to hear about the major reconstruction of the processes behind the Support for Independent Retail campaign.
The campaign, which has aided independent retailers since the launch of its first activities in 2011, will introduce a brand new licensing structure, enabling local authorities to purchase the rights to all resources for its three annual events.
New figures from the British Independent Retailers Association (bira) have shown that the growth rate for independent retailers has slowed drastically, with fewer opening due to rising vacancy rates as local authorities fail to encourage and support smaller businesses.
“Smaller shops are so important to the UK and they’re the ones who are keeping local economies afloat. Local authorities need to divert this oncoming storm and start prioritising their small businesses and independent retailers,” explained Clare Rayner, founder of the Support for Independent Retail campaign and of the Future High Street Summit.
She added: “We decided to launch the campaign’s new structure at the Summit because it’s local authorities who can really make a difference by investing in our events. It’s time for councils, town teams, BIDs and other high street stakeholders to shift their ambitions away from unlikely chain store openings and towards the smaller, consumer-facing businesses who are actually making a difference to town and city centres.”
The new structure will enable local authorities to buy into the licence for the campaign and receive a full package of support and resources to aid their efforts. There are several options to choose from, including one- and two-year licences for any or all of the campaign’s annual events: Enjoy an Independent Easter, Independent Retailer Month, and Celebrate an Independent Christmas.
High street stakeholders who are interested in learning more about the Support for Independent Retail campaign’s new structure and the benefits of becoming an Independent Retail licensee can ask the campaign’s team directly at the Summit. There will also be promotional materials available for delegates to take with them to show their colleagues and community members.
The Future High Street Summit
25th and 26th March, 2015
Nottingham Conference Centre, Nottingham Trent University
For more information on the event and to see the full agenda, visit the Future High Street Summit website.
Tickets for the conference are on sale now and attendees can sign up at Futurehighstreet.co.uk/register.