Tomorrow will see thousands of UK indies coming together as part of Independents’ Day. The national campaign, which is now in its fourth year, celebrates the contribution of independent businesses to the UK economy by encouraging consumers to shop at local stores.
Independent businesses will be holding special events and promotions as part of the day, including themed window displays, high street festivities, discounts and special offers.
The campaign is organised by People 1st and the National Skills Academy for Retail’s network of over 50 skills shops. Local authorities, chambers of commerce, retail and hospitality industry bodies have also shown their support alongside retail expert Theo Paphitis.
Jane Rexworthy, executive director for People 1st and head of the National Skills Academy for Retail, comments: “We have been delighted to see so many local authorities putting their weight behind local celebrations and working closely with their independent businesses to get them involved.
“Over the last four years, we have seen the campaign go from strength to strength and we are pleased to see that the locations involved have looked at the campaign as an opportunity to promote their local area and encourage their local community to use independent businesses.
“We are committed to supporting the growth of independent businesses and to help them increase their business skills. Our WorldHost training programme has helped boost customer service skills and the Digital High Street Skills programme has proven to help businesses make the most of their websites and social media. Through the Employer Ownership Fund, available until the end of July 2014, small businesses may be able to access training at reduced rates and we urge small businesses to take advantage of this opportunity before it’s too late.”
Meanwhile, skills and enterprise minister Matthew Hancock says: “Independents’ day is a great opportunity for people to show their support for small businesses – the lifeblood of our economy. It is part of the Government’s long-term economic plan to ensure that small businesses have the right environment to grow.
“The Digital High Street programme, launched this year, will help businesses take advantage of increasing opportunities online and the new markets that will open up.”
Lastly, Labour’s shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna MP adds: “Independents’ Day is a fantastic campaign, celebrating small businesses and the positive impact they make within local communities.
“Alongside Small Business Saturday towards the end of the year, I hope Independents’ Day will be even bigger and better this year and will see even more people discover unique, independent shops on high streets across Britain and buying local.”
For more information on Independents’ Day activities and training support available for independent businesses visit: Indieday.co.uk. Businesses can also get advice and guidance from Mybusiness1st.co.uk/